It takes a big person to admit when they’re wrong, and there’s nothing bigger than Microsoft. Windows 8 hasn’t sold like Microsoft anticipated, and users pin the blame solely on one little button, the Start button, or the lack thereof. With Windows Blue (officially previewing June 26), it’s rumored that Microsoft is remorsefully bringing back the button.
While Microsoft has not officially confirmed or denied this, the Internet is abuzz with rumors of Start buttons. It might take a lot for Microsoft to swallow their pride and admit defeat for pushing the Metro-Style Start Screen on a longtime customer base that was simply not interested, but in the end, packaging Windows Blue (aka Windows 8.1) with a new Start button can only help their cause.
The huddled masses are yearning for the freedom of a Start button, and with one big Blue release, Microsoft may give it to them. This will help Microsoft look like a company that listens to the needs of their customers–after beating a drum for 8 months chanting, “People will get used to it.” Plus, the dust from Metro Madness has settled, and the people that were most passionate about the issue have either moved on, or have downloaded a Start button workaround from a third party. A new Start button will appease passionate critics, and provide an official tool that third party Start button users will happily adapt.
Zdnet.com has a source inside Microsoft that both confirms the new Start button, as well as gives us a few new details on how it functions. The new Start button will look like the purple and black Windows 8 Start button in the Charms Menu. It will also be located in the lower left corner, right where we like it. Although, you won’t see the new Start button always hanging around like it did with older operating systems; instead, it will only appear when the mouse is hovered over the lower left corner.
Another expected change is that the new Windows Blue will not open to a menu like in previous systems. Instead, it will open to an All Apps view that will take up the full screen and consist of neat rows displaying every app. This will be instead of the Windows 8 Tiled view where apps are displayed with different sized boxes stretched across the screen. All Apps will be the same view that Windows 8 users can currently see by going to App Bar and then selecting All Apps.
Another update that will give Windows 8 a more classic feel is to give users the ability to boot-straight-to-desktop, instead of booting to the Metro-Style Screen. This way, if you prefer, you can be greeted to Windows with your forgotten friend Mr. Start Button, instead of Metro Madness.
While the changes mentioned are fairly cosmetic, Windows Blue does include several significant upgrades that are worth taking advantage of. We won’t know until June 26 at the Build 2013 show what exactly Microsoft has up their sleeve, but be assured that Think Tank NTG will be on top of the big Blue reveal in order to help your business stay competitive.