Well, it’s official: Windows 8 is going to introduce a Start button with Blue (8.1, a free update due later this year). The lack of a Start button in the left-hand side of the Windows taskbar has been one of the most obvious complaints from users about Windows 8, but while it’s going to be making a return, there’s one thing you must realize: this does not mean the reintroduction of the Start menu. Sad face.
Even though it’s still not going to be favored by everyone, Microsoft’s invested heavily into the Modern UI “Start screen” and isn’t going to shove it in a closet sooner than it has to – if it even has to at all. We could just all “get used to it”, as has been oft-suggested by fellow users. In this regard, the introduction of a Start button actually means quite little. It in effect replaces the need to hit the Win key on your keyboard – something I’m way too used to now, after having used Windows 8 since its release.
Credit: Paul Thurrott
That said, there is one other perk that’s been confirmed: boot to desktop. Currently, a boot into a Windows 8 system will place you at the Start screen, and after 1 or 2 minutes without user interaction, it’ll display your desktop (why it does this, I’m unsure). In 8.1, you’ll have the ability to enable an option that will forego the Start screen entirely – useful if you happen to keep application shortcuts on your desktop.
Microsoft’s wise to implement these changes, but I can’t help but feel like most people would have really loved the option to enable the old Start menu. Why Microsoft considers it to be such a major issue to offer that, I’m not sure.