Report: The Start Button Is Coming Back To Windows

If you've been pining for the Start button since Windows 8 arrived on the scene, we have some potentially good news. Sources who have spoken to The Verge claim that it will reappear in Windows 8.1.

The sources have suggested that the newly reintroduced button will let users access the Start Screen -- not the traditional Start Menu. It will, however, reside in the traditional bottom left corner, looking almost identical to the existing Windows flag used in the Charm bar.

The start button was killed off during development for Windows 8, with developers claiming that the rise of pinning applications to the taskbar had made the little button redundant -- though it was replaced with a Hot Corner. But users have been missing it: so far Pokki for Windows, a Start Menu replacement, has been downloaded 1.5 million times.

Clearly stories like that have been enough to prompt Ballmer and co to rethink the radical design move -- so you can perhaps expect to see it again when Windows 8.1 rolls out later this year. [The Verge]

Picture: freestockimages/Flickr



    I honestly would not be surprised if someone just changed the icon for some random pinned shortcut and sent it to the verge.

    Because, you know, they have a track in accuracy.

    The haters still gonna hate. No matter what Microsoft do some people will never be happy. Yet they still upgrade and then whinge about it then when Win 9 is released they will bag that and praise the wonderful Win 8.

      It is the native dance of our people, after all.

        Picturing Native American dance singing "Hate Windows 8, Hate Windows 8, Hate Windows 8"
        (you know, instead of "hey how are ya, hey how are ya")

      I don't have much experience with win8, but from what I remember, there's no way to get to the start screen with just the mouse (correct me if I'm wrong).
      Given the amount of users I've seen with a complete lack of knowledge of keyboard use for anything other than word processing, resorting to using the mouse for absolutely everything, re-adding the button may not necessarily be a bad thing.
      You know, sometimes it's not just haters, but the oblivious as well.

        Hmm Challenge accepted.

        1. Mouse to the bottom left of the screen and move mouse up (left charms), windows and start menu option tabs appears
        2. Mouse to the bottom left, start menu option tab appears
        3. Mouse to the bottom right of the screen and move mouse up (right charms), start button appears.

          Well played. As I said, I don't have much experience with win8. I've used Server 2012, but keyboard only really.
          Does win8 inform the user of hot corners? Having seeing users use OSX, hot corners have a tendency to just plain confuse people as to what's going on.
          Just trying to figure out what the simplicity level is.

            just move the mouse to the furthest point bottom left on the screen and click, if anyone is confused by that I suggest that unplug their computer and bludgeon themselves in the head with it.

              So most users? But seriously, most users I've had to deal with have not been competent enough to understand that. They just move their mice by coincidence to the corners and hot corners do their stuff, then they complain that their computer is acting strange and that it must be a virus.

                I know what you mean with the way OSX hot corners work, I suggest you see how the bottom left "hot corner" works on win 8 and then comment. The average user would get it. You would have to be a complete half wit to not.

            It does the first time you use the system. I imagine some people will miss it or hop on an already logged in family PC however and be thoroughly confused.

        you move your mouse to the bottom left corner of the screen and the Metro jewel/icon appears, same as if you want to use the other gestures, you just move your mouse to either the top, right or left of the screen to bring up the gesture control.

        a lot of laptop manufacturers have added a quick guide to Win8 when you first log in.

          Ah cool. I think it's time for me to get Windows-to-go and get familiar with it.

          Last edited 23/04/13 10:34 am

        You're wrong =P
        You can click in the bottom left corner. Same as always.
        Theres also a start button in the charms menu which is perfect for touch screens.

        Yeah, the hot corner - move the mouse to the bottom left of the screen and a Start button pops up, click that and it takes you to the start screen. Definitely is confusing at first though.

          Hot corners are handy, but I find they tend to just plain confuse most users, or at least that's my experience with most OSX users, and given that I've never seen anyone use (or know of its existence) the win7 'desktop' hot corner, I'd be surprised if average users know of it without being instructed.

      I didn't recall anyone praising Windows Vista when Windows 7 came out.

        Only people that aren't him have selective memory it seems...I think...what was I talking about?

        Believe it or not, I upgraded a user who's laptop lease ran out, with a new laptop with win7. Not even a week into Win7 and they were already complaining that they hated it and wanted to go back to Vista.

          Ugh. That old man must feel like a hero... defending Vista's honour like that.

        because we're still praising windows XP, we didn't notice Vista at all

      Its what the customer wants. Give 'em what they want, and they'll be back for more. It's easy really.

      People just hate alternating versions of windows, 95 was crap, 98 was fantastic, ME was shit (though they had a point there), XP was awesome, vista was awful, 7 was magnificent, 8 is the worst thing in the history of the universe like 500 hitlers sewn together with thread made from the skin of baby seals, 9 will be great...

      Incorrect. I was very happy with Windows XP.

      Rather than change the cosmetic format, why not improve the code.

      Last edited 24/04/13 5:30 am

    Imo "Poki for Windows" is too system intensive, it tries to do too much and slows the system startup. I was using Stardock's "Start8" but soon got onto "Classic Shell" which is free does more and doesn't nag.

    Last edited 23/04/13 8:46 am

      I use classic shell as well. I highly recommend it to anyone with windows 8. Free, easy, very light on processing and works brilliantly

      Yep, classic shell for me. Launches straight to desktop. For all those about to flame for why don't you just use win7? I like the faster startup and better CPU utilisation, just don't like metro.

      I really don't like that to do basic things, like shutting down your computer now takes about 5 actions instead of 2.

    Anyone who feels the need to use a third party tool to add a start button to Windows 8 is just stupid. Start is still there, just go down and to the left a few more pixels. Even so, if you are still utilising Start at all, you missed the whole point of the Windows key.

      Yeah, how dare they choose to customise their own OS to suit their liking! They're all stupid!

        Having the mindset that you need to hang on to an unnecessary icon, simply because it was there, is stupid.

          Who says they need to or that it's unnecessary?
          I've always used the windows button when a keyboard was in reach, so I'm not phased, but if someone wants the windows icon there because that's what they've been using for the last however many years, and they consider that icon convenient, well they should feel free to mod that back in, and in no way does that make them stupid. I use program launchers similar to the Mac LaunchPad simply because that makes my life convenient, does that make me stupid?

            Program launchers like the Mac LaunchPad make you even more stupid than people trying to add the start button!

              Well then you're just in a league of you own aren't you.

      You dont understand what most ppl like about the start bar do you? hit windows key type something in eg:remove and hit enter. Windows 7 will open add remove programs in this case, windows 8 will show you nothing until you then press the down arrow and then you grab your mouse and click add remove programs... What a joke, its gone backwards... I have start8 , which isnt quite as good as windows 7 start bar but good enough and have not seen the metro UI other than after start up in months! Everything takes 5 times the actions to do the same thing.

        This is because the start screen searches your programs by default. You could just use the 'search settings' shortcut (Win+W) instead. One extra keypress, no mouse required.

        I agree with this one little thing and really its just because I am an admin. I don't see any standard user having to get to the control panel as often as I do. In Windows 7 I could just type what I want and jump right to it. Now I have to click down to get to it. However all this is balanced by right clicking in the bottom right hand corner hot spot and getting the admin links. Also there is still WIN+R and typing a run command, quickest way I found even in win 7 it takes a while for the start menu to load your search results even though you are after something common like "Programs and Features"

          I seriously didn't like the original Windows 7 Control Panel.

          I had nightmares about that damn thing. Talk about dogs breakfast.

          Ok Spock, what the fucks a "Notification Area Icon" ?

          What's next ? Google smartphone touch screen sunglasses:

          Last edited 24/04/13 5:20 am

    The start button should always be there on a device without touch screen input.

    Some time I just do not get people...

    I don't get all the fuss. I love Windows 8 and have it loaded on all my devices. A Surface Pro is in the mail.

    Windows Vista was a performance and reliability pig and was rightly hated. Windows 8 has...a different start menu.

    Big. Effing. Deal.

      for me its the sidestep upgrade.

      I dont use windows mobiles. my htc touch HD is where I drew the line on the crap apps and shitty backwards compatibility from windows mobile 6.1 apps that I was using. I have switched to Android since and despite the still ass about face app compatibility(MOG, y u no let me make playlist?) my experience in Android has been far more satisfactory.

      I find that my desktop is primarily used for gaming, media viewing, and video encoding. from the "upgrade" I am not seeing anything specifically catered to make my experience on my dated windows 7 computer better.

      pc specs: AMD Phenom II 965, 12GB DDR3 RAM, AMD 6950 2GB GDDR5, and 2TB 7200rpm HDD with a 128GB samsung SSD to boot from.

      Crappy, dated, and antiquated hardware that doesnt benefit from windows 8 and I wont be able to avoid the crappy app drawer windows 8 has.

      I think I will just happily use my dated hardware until it dies before being forced to upgrade

        Mate if it ain't broke don't fix it. I don't upgrade to every Windows version that comes out and I don't buy new hardware every X months.

        If you build a good PC it should last you at least a few years. I built one in April 2011 and it is still going hard. 6GB DDR3, i7 950 Intel CPU, 60GB SSD to boot from, 250GB SSD for game storage, 3TB HDD for other storage (last 2 drives were recent additions to replace a 400GB I've had for like 3 years), Radeon 6950 2GB vid card (I think we have the same one?).

        I've had that setup for the last 2 years and it still goes strong. And I'm sure yours does too, although I'm not familiar with the AMD CPU's. If it starts to slow down you just run a few utilities and cleanups/defrags/backup and rebuilds. Sounds like you have a decent setup that does the job in every situation. No reason to upgrade and spend dollaz.

        Windows 8 is faster on lower spec computers (unless unsupported) it did wonders for my Shuttle.

          It's faster on nearly all systems, it's just more noticeable on low spec machines.

    It's ironic. I can remember when the world poked fun at that Start button when it first came out, partly because you had to go to the Start button in order to stop....

    Windows 8 is the best Windows OS yet, people need to stop being stupid little bitching sheep and play around with it for more than 1 minute before complaining.

      Bingo. Easily the best OS to date, and I've used them all!

        What about all the extra features? Storage Spaces, Hyper-v to name a few.
        I agree Windows 8 is the best OS, so what if you have a few extra clicks here and there. You would not have upgraded unless it was for a feature so look at the whole and tell me if one extra click is the damning feature or if all the added stuff outweighs the bad.

          .....Windows 8 is so shit hot, then why are they putting a start button on it ?

    "Look, I just know that I click that "Start" flag thing then the blue e to get to my porn. Anything that deviates from that process shouldn't be allowed to happen so therefore Windows 8 is fucking stupid and I'm not going to use it because I said so"

    - Forty-something year old computer users who hate Windows 8

    (This comment is intended to be humorous while pointing out that I know people like this, so don't feel that you're like this because you're forty-something and still use Internet Explorer despite Firefox or Chrome being there)

    give me a choice is all i ask. i want the new metro interface? cool - have it on by default. i want the old standard start button interface? i should be able to go in to settings and tick a box and thats it. dictating the way you think i should use my computer just makes me want to not buy your newest shiny.

    Last edited 23/04/13 11:10 am

      so by that rationale nothing should ever change they should just add to it, where's my option to check so I can make it windows 3.11

        you could theme it to look like windows 3.11 - go right ahead if that floats your boat.
        point is, they shouldnt dictate that you cant

          but you don't have to use it either, I don't think they are dictating anything, they bring out some software take it or leave it. They aren't dictating that you can't use one of the excellent 3rd party apps to bring back the start button if you want.

    Haters gonna hate. I purchased Stardock's Star8 application that adds the start menu back in and it cost me like $5. Windows 8 has never been better.

    If the start button opens a start menu I'll be shitted off, it had better be able to be disabled.

    How stupid is it to have a button that opens a Windows 95 legacy start menu right next to a hot corner that opens the start screen? And Microsoft thought the hot corner on its own confused users!

    A start button should open the start screen and that's it.

    MS were stupid to remove as there really wasn't any compelling reason for it not to be there. All it did was make every new user's first session a PITA, which is really dumb when you are trying to get customers interested in the new version of your most important product. It is kind of like making customers climb over a fence to get to your shop.

      I sell fence climbing experiences. Climb first, pay later.

      Are you talking about the button or the menu? The menu is still there, just redesigned.

        The button. I absolutely hate the VIsta/Win7 Start Menu, it was a total disaster, but I absolutely love the Win8 Start Screen for it's deep customisability and general sexiness. ANd booting into it makes perfect sense as I am free to choose whichever app I want to start first without having to do anything else, like open a Start Menu, first. i.e. It saves me a step every morning when I switch my PC on.

          You think a start screen is sexy then you need psychological help....then again, I dunno how much time you spend masterbating on your computer. Doesn't say much about your preference for OS either come to think of it.

          Do you spend that 1 step time going to get tissues ?

          Last edited 24/04/13 5:02 am

            Even man-size tissues don't cut it for me, I need bath sheets. Your PC maybe utilitarian but I spend enough time with mine that aesthetics are important. Of course, teh Start Screen is nothing compared to the full custom Rainmeter skin I spent 100 hours or so creating but the two things go together rather well.

    Yep, pretty much this. Many users don't like having auto-hide taskbars / menus - they prefer a visible cue like the start button provided.

    The other mistake was making the start screen non-optional. Corporate customers want to boot to the desktop without having to install 3rd-party software. The reaction has been so bad that all the major PC vendors (HP, Lenovo, Dell, Asus, etc) are now going with Win 7 installs (with Win 8 license) on their commercial machines.


    This touch screen insanity has led to nothing but smudges !

    Screens are for eyes, keyboards are for fingers. Think I read that in a manual somewhere.

    Personally I think Microsoft is deliberately fucking with us.

    Minority Report is to blame for EVERYTHING. THAT'S where all this bullshit started.

    Last edited 24/04/13 4:56 am

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