Windows 8 bringing back Start button, say reports

Microsoft is reported to be bowing to popular opinion and reinstating the Start button to Windows 8.

Let's go back to the Start. Microsoft is reported to be bowing to popular opinion and reinstating the Start button to Windows 8.

But in the expected Windows 8.1 update, the Start button is reported by the Verge to call up the Start screen rather than the familiar Start Menu of shortcuts to apps.

Microsoft ditched the Start button in Windows 8 to encourage people to pin apps and shortcuts to the home screen. But in the face of disappointing sales for Windows 8, it seems Microsoft wants to make its operating system feel less of a jarring transformation.

It's not the only forthcoming change that draws on older versions of Windows. Microsoft is also reported to be considering a more traditional desktop instead of the grid of coloured squares, or live tiles, that access and display information from apps.

I'm not surprised Microsoft has decided to hark back to a more familiar version of Windows. The colourful new look for Windows 8 may have been a bold and exciting move, but it's proved less than popular for customers and businesses, even seeing PC sales plummet .

Start Me Up 

The Start button first arrived in Windows 95, complete with Rolling Stones-soundtracked adverts. Ironically, it attracted some stick -- what if you're not actually starting anything? -- which just goes to show you don't know what you got 'till it's gone.

Windows 8.1, known as Windows Blue during development, is set to be the first annual update to Windows. It's expected to include adjustable live tiles, letting you resize the colourful squares on the home page. There'll be an official preview at developer conference Build in June, and the real thing will arrive later this year.

Check out our 50 Windows 8 tips , how to personalise Windows 8 ideas, and -- yes -- how to make Windows 8 look like Windows 7 guide.

Should Microsoft make Windows 8 look more like the Windows of old, or should we all stop moaning and embrace the change? Start me up in the comments or start an argument on our Facebook page.

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About the author

Rich Trenholm is a senior editor at CNET where he covers everything from phones to bionic implants. Based in London since 2007, he has travelled the world seeking out the latest and best consumer technology for your enjoyment.

 

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