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Windows 8.1 TV Ad Highlights Return of Start Button

By - Source: via BusinessInsider | B 94 comments

The Start button is back!

One of the biggest criticisms with Windows 8 was that it ditched the Start button, a feature that's been a part of Windows for as long as many users can remember (it was first introduced with Windows 95 and Windows NT). Together with the introduction of the Metro UI, a lot of people found the lack of Start button confusing. So much so, that users actively looked for ways to bring it back (Tom's Guide even ran a story on how to make Windows 8 look like Windows 7, and a big part of that was bringing back the Start button).

For months, the rumor mill has been churning out reports that Microsoft would bring back the Start button in Windows 8.1. Finally, in June, the return of the Start button was confirmed. Microsoft gave a demonstration of Windows 8.1 at Computex and it briefly showed off the returning Start button. In case you were worried that the months since Computex have seen the Start button cut once more, you needn't have worried. A commercial for Windows 8.1 has shown that the Start button is still present in Windows 8.1.

Microsoft is showing off the Start button in this commercial, telling users then can use it to flip back and forth between Desktop mode and the new Metro/Modern UI mode. As we saw back in June, it's not the same Start button we've come to know and love since 1995. Instead, it serves as a quick hop to the Start screen for mouse-based customers and a comfort blanket for those that have missed the Start button immensely over the last year. Check out the ad for Windows 8.1 below:

Microsoft - The New Windows

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  • 32 Hide
    DiaSin , September 30, 2013 11:00 AM
    They need to get it through their thick skulls, it is not the start BUTTON people want, it is the start MENU. Looks like the 5 bucks I spent on start8 will remain to be well worth it.
  • 15 Hide
    bejabbers , September 30, 2013 11:03 AM
    The start button is only part of the problem.... The issue is the metro/tile/modern UI. Putting the start button back doesn't give back the start menu, which is what everyone wants.
  • 11 Hide
    Deadfred , September 30, 2013 11:25 AM
    Microsoft needs to really listen carefully to its users. Windows 8 is an abortion of a UI because it offers little organization and zero intuitive navigation to the items we are looking for. We want our start menu back simply because it got us to where we needed to go quickly. A tile based approach is akin to throwing my shit all over the floor then hunting around whenever I need something. I know there are some people will want to point out the search mechanism, but to that I say, is this a GUI or a CLI operating system? Secondly, sometimes it is difficult to get a seach hit on items I know I have installed. Why should I have to try and remember or guess the name of what it is I'm looking for vs. going to the start menu location I know it will be in. Tiles are a really poor substitute to an organized start menu and this is why we want it back. MS, Please stick this implementation of the start button in the same place you keep clippy the office assistant.
Other Comments
  • 32 Hide
    DiaSin , September 30, 2013 11:00 AM
    They need to get it through their thick skulls, it is not the start BUTTON people want, it is the start MENU. Looks like the 5 bucks I spent on start8 will remain to be well worth it.
  • 15 Hide
    bejabbers , September 30, 2013 11:03 AM
    The start button is only part of the problem.... The issue is the metro/tile/modern UI. Putting the start button back doesn't give back the start menu, which is what everyone wants.
  • 4 Hide
    huskersforever , September 30, 2013 11:06 AM
    Solution: startisback.com
  • 9 Hide
    lutel , September 30, 2013 11:13 AM
    Microsoft plays silly games with its users, we want normal Start MENU to be back on desktop, somebody at Microsoft decided to step back 20 years in GUI development, I'm administrator of 300 workstation and I'll never replace Windows 7 before this issue is resolved, even with discounts on upgrades.
  • 3 Hide
    lutel , September 30, 2013 11:14 AM
    Microsoft plays silly games with its users, we want normal Start MENU to be back on desktop, somebody at Microsoft decided to step back 20 years in GUI development, I'm administrator of 300 workstation and I'll never replace Windows 7 before this issue is resolved, even with discounts on upgrades.
  • 11 Hide
    Deadfred , September 30, 2013 11:25 AM
    Microsoft needs to really listen carefully to its users. Windows 8 is an abortion of a UI because it offers little organization and zero intuitive navigation to the items we are looking for. We want our start menu back simply because it got us to where we needed to go quickly. A tile based approach is akin to throwing my shit all over the floor then hunting around whenever I need something. I know there are some people will want to point out the search mechanism, but to that I say, is this a GUI or a CLI operating system? Secondly, sometimes it is difficult to get a seach hit on items I know I have installed. Why should I have to try and remember or guess the name of what it is I'm looking for vs. going to the start menu location I know it will be in. Tiles are a really poor substitute to an organized start menu and this is why we want it back. MS, Please stick this implementation of the start button in the same place you keep clippy the office assistant.
  • 0 Hide
    ta152h , September 30, 2013 11:26 AM
    Does it really matter much? Microsoft is losing market share every month. Chromebooks are popping up like crazy and are best sellers on Amazon. We're seeing SteamOS now making its appearance. Android for PCs is gaining more traction. Tablets are eating into PC sales more and more.

    Microsoft doesn't matter. They made sure of that with Windows 8 by telling people what they wanted, and then with 8.1 by acting like people are so stupid they can't tell the difference between a start button, and the start button that opened the menu they want.

    Result? Month after month Windows market share loses a tenth or two of market share, inexorably declining. It will keep accelerating, as once a competing platform reaches critical mass, it gets more support and software, gets better hardware and software, gets more mass, gets more support and software, etc...

    There's no way for Microsoft to compete. You can't sell an OS for $100 when the competition is free. $100 is too much hardware, whether you want a faster processor, better mass storage, a nice screen, etc..., especially with the popularity of lower cost machines.

    Microsoft has become irrelevant, and Windows is a dying platform. Better to review new Chromebooks, or Android based machines, as the free OS is the future, Microsoft is the past.
  • -1 Hide
    nikolayivanov321 , September 30, 2013 12:06 PM
    The Start button is back! ... sort of
  • 3 Hide
    Amdlova , September 30, 2013 12:22 PM
    microsoft screw with everything in market with windows 8 and now give back the start button... NO microsoft we are moving to linux! ITS FREE!
  • -1 Hide
    burkhartmj , September 30, 2013 12:36 PM
    Quote:
    Does it really matter much? Microsoft is losing market share every month. Chromebooks are popping up like crazy and are best sellers on Amazon. We're seeing SteamOS now making its appearance. Android for PCs is gaining more traction. Tablets are eating into PC sales more and more.

    Microsoft doesn't matter. They made sure of that with Windows 8 by telling people what they wanted, and then with 8.1 by acting like people are so stupid they can't tell the difference between a start button, and the start button that opened the menu they want.

    Result? Month after month Windows market share loses a tenth or two of market share, inexorably declining. It will keep accelerating, as once a competing platform reaches critical mass, it gets more support and software, gets better hardware and software, gets more mass, gets more support and software, etc...

    There's no way for Microsoft to compete. You can't sell an OS for $100 when the competition is free. $100 is too much hardware, whether you want a faster processor, better mass storage, a nice screen, etc..., especially with the popularity of lower cost machines.

    Microsoft has become irrelevant, and Windows is a dying platform. Better to review new Chromebooks, or Android based machines, as the free OS is the future, Microsoft is the past.


    Of the top 20 on Amazon, 2 are chromebooks, two are macbooks and 16 are Windows based.While a single model of chromebook MIGHT be outselling any single model of Windows, Windows is still outselling Chrome OS by multiple orders of magnitude. The fact of the matter is chromebooks are too low power and nowhere near versatile enough, Android is a phone OS, and Linux has been free and marginalized for decades. Windows isn't going anywhere, and if people took 2 seconds to stop complaining or looking for workarounds and actually used Windows 8, they'd find it's nowhere near as bad as everyone suggests. The old start menu was limited and frustrating and offers zero organizational ability over Windows 8. It was a great interface when it came out 20 years ago, but it's dated and Windows needed to move on.

    At this rate, I'm more likely to use startisgone when 8.1 hits than I EVER was to use startisback.
  • -2 Hide
    8350rocks , September 30, 2013 12:53 PM
    Too little, too late...I was already running a dual boot with Ubuntu, now I find myself spending more and more time on Linux than Windows. When my family comes to me to upgrade their PC, instead of telling them I need $100 for a new version of windows on their PC, I will be telling them..."Look at this great *FREE* OS I found that works a lot like windows, and by the way, did I mention it's *FREE*?" They will be going to Ubuntu as well, once 13.10 goes live, I probably will only boot windows to occasionally play the 1 or 2 games that are a head-ache on WINE...as that's the only thing left I use Windows for...

    M$ won't get any money from me for Winblows 8 or Winblows 8.1
  • 0 Hide
    JOSHSKORN , September 30, 2013 12:59 PM
    I wonder how existing Start Menu apps will function with this new Start button.
  • 4 Hide
    back_by_demand , September 30, 2013 1:20 PM
    Not to disagree with Diasin, but if you spent $5 on Start8 you were robbed, ClassicShell is free and great, plus it has integration with 8.1 so it doesn't interfere with the restored Start button
  • 4 Hide
    egmccann , September 30, 2013 1:25 PM
    @Joshskorn -
    The preview of 8.1 broke a lot of replacement start menu functionality. However, at the very least Stardock and Classic Shell have been updated (only two I tested) to work properly with the new not-really-a-button button.

    And I have to agree with the other comments. Microsoft is not listening. The start *menu* functionality, among other things, is what is desired. (I'd like to see them not shove settings a desktop uses in the Metro "control panel," either - things like Windows Update are far less useful now to check and keep an eye on while running something else. No reason for it to take up 1/4 to the full screen in a non-minimizeable window.)
  • -2 Hide
    rwinches , September 30, 2013 1:25 PM
    Win 8 is even worst on a mobile device a all those nifty tiles suck up your bandwidth.
    Starting with 7 there is too much crap running in the background, like timmers keeping track of how long it takes to load something.
    The security management is scattered all over and often has ambiguous names for functions.
    Right now I have one pc that will load usb drivers for my Android devices the other comes up with an error, now I have most of the warnings turned off so I now have to remember or rediscover how I get around this.

    Win 8 is a mess if you judge by the gigabytes of updates so far. I will not be upgrading to 8.1 anytime soon. I got lured by the $15 upgrade from 7 I wish I had not.
  • 5 Hide
    falcompsx , September 30, 2013 1:53 PM
    the start button is back! it just doesn't do what you want!
  • 2 Hide
    g00fysmiley , September 30, 2013 1:58 PM
    don't want to buy a ap to get my start menu ... well guess i will stick with windows 7 still. wake me when m$ gets a clue
  • 1 Hide
    milktea , September 30, 2013 2:02 PM
    The 'Start' menu is back but somewhat differently in Win8.1. But mostly importantly is the ability to boot to desktop. It is annoying to always boot to the Metro UI first then a second click to change to desktop in Win8.0.
  • 2 Hide
    mavikt , September 30, 2013 2:07 PM
    What a debacle!
    The start button is back, but not the menu. *facepalm*
    So if you have a start menu app, this raises a new question: How do you disable/remove the MS start button in Win8.1 to remove clutter?
  • 4 Hide
    oxiide , September 30, 2013 2:37 PM
    Haha, wow. Aggressively marketing a new product based on the return of a feature from an older, better-loved product is already shady corporate behavior, but to find out that its only cosmetic?! Microsoft really needs to learn a big, fat, market share-based lesson about customer goodwill.
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