“Start” Button Returns in Windows 8.1

Many Windows users have difficulty transitioning from Windows 7 to Windows 8 because of the latter’s completely new design as well as its focus on being touchscreen-friendly while sacrificing those who prefer using their keyboard and mouse. Microsoft seems to have gotten the message as the company unveiled some of the changes coming to Windows 8.1, one of which is the resurrection of the Start button at the bottom-left hand corner of the interface.

The absence of the Start button was very noticeable when Windows 8 was introduced last October 2012, as the operating system was intended to be more friendly towards tablets and touchscreen laptops.

“We’ve focused on a number of improvements to ensure easier navigation for people using a mouse and keyboard,” Microsoft’s corporate vice president of Windows Program Management Antoine Leblond said in a blog post. “We’ve improved the way you navigate to Start with the mouse by changing the Start ‘tip’ to be the familiar Windows logo.”

The Start button, which looks like the new Microsoft logo, appears on the lower-left hand corner of Windows 8.1 even if you are using other apps. Clicking on it will bring you back to the Start Screen.

Giving the Start button a new lease on life is one of several additions included in Windows 8.1, which will be released later this year as a free upgrade for users of Windows 8. The new version will still be centered around the Start Screen filled with Live tiles, with the introduction of new tile sizes and a more convenient way of moving around the blocks by pressing and holding the tiles, similar to how Android apps are rearranged.

Another change in Windows 8.1 is when users download a new app, it would not automatically be included on the Start Screen, but put in a new app view instead. The new version will also integrate Bing to the OS’s global search function, as well as a redesigned Music and Photo apps, the new touch-friendly Internet Explorer 11 browser, and the ability to run three apps side by side.

There will also be a slideshow of the user’s photos to the lock screen, as well as more color and background options for the Start Screen.

“Windows 8.1 will continue to build on what you love bringing the latest advancements in hardware, apps, cloud services and the OS to enable a unique experience in everything you do,” Leblond added.

Source: ABC News

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