Microsoft Removes Start Button from Windows 8

Image credit: PC BetaImage credit: PC Beta

Microsoft has made quite a few changes to the Windows user interface with Windows 8. Today, we learn about one more change the company has made to the upcoming operating system: the company is ditching the 'Start' button it first introduced with Windows 95.

Users of previous builds of Windows 8 will know that the Start button is flatter than we've seen in older iterations of Windows. The new appearance, though different to what users are accustomed to, better matched the over-all appearance of Windows 8. However, not content to just alter the Start button so that it better fits in with the Windows 8 UI, it seems Microsoft has elected to do away with the Start button completely.

Those that have used the Windows 8 "Consumer Preview" version (build 8220), which was leaked this weekend, say that the Start button has been removed. The Windows Superbar, first introduced in Windows 7, now extends the whole way across the bottom of the screen. However, all is not lost. The Verge cites sources close to Microsoft that say the Start button's functionality isn't completely dead:

"We have confirmed with sources close to Microsoft's Windows 8 development that a hot corner has replaced the Start button orb. A thumbnail-like user interface will appear in Metro or desktop mode, providing a consistent way to access the Windows desktop and Start Screen in Windows 8 regardless of touch or mouse input," writes Tom Warren. "The new interface is activated on hover from the lower-left corner of Windows 8 and includes a thumbnail preview of where you will navigate to after clicking on the new visual element."

So, it's gone, but it still exists in some form. No telling if this will be a permanent change before the final release of Windows 8, but we'll keep you posted.

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  • jlats26
    I have been testing Win8 since the first developer preview. They are seriously taking a giant leap BACKWARDS in advancement. These metro tiles and the removal of the start menu make sense for tablets, phones, and other touchscreen device, sure, but what about the millions of users that have a keyboard and mouse? How is it more efficient to read text on a colored tiles as oppose to automatically recognizing a desktop icon?

    Sometimes I wonder if the Execs at Microsoft even own a computer.
  • drwho1
    is looking more and more that Windows 8 will be Windows Skipped for me.
  • shmung
    aww why
  • Other Comments
  • shmung
    aww why
  • eyemaster
    So they replace a "Start Button" for a "Start Hover Section"... not much of a change.
  • mrkdilkington
    Hopefully this will be like the 'show desktop' quickbar button they removed in Win7 that you can add back in yourself (the one by the start button, not the new one on the right-hand side).