According to a new report, Microsoft is planning to bring the long lost Start Orb button back with Windows 8.1 later this year. The Start button had been a part of Windows since the inception of Windows 95. Over time, it had evolved as the first go-to place for getting any sort of work done. With the release of Windows 8, Microsoft brought to the scene the Metro / Modern-ridden Start screen. For some, it was a big treat, for others, a big horror. The removal of the Start button proved to be a difficult decision for a lot of PC users. For Microsoft, the sole purpose was not just to bring a UI to the table, but to make one hybrid OS for both desktops/notebooks and Tablets.
If you’re a tablet user, then the new touch optimized Start screen makes a lot of sense; it’s fast, fluid and snappy. Checking emails, browsing the web, reading your tweets and whatnot doesn’t get easier than this on a touch screen PC. You multitask like there’s no tomorrow. You want powerful apps running side by side etc. You need that Start button + menu on the bottom left-hand corner to access your desktop apps without having to jump into that awful Modern UI.
Now, according to the report, the Start button in Windows 8.1 will be a mere button which would just take you to the Start screen. It wont include the familiar Start menu you have been so used to in the pre-Windows 8 era. A single click on the Windows logo in v8.1 will take you to the Modern UI Start screen.
Users want a button which would open up the Start menu, which in turn would show the recently opened apps and documents without the Metro / Modern stuff around it on PC without touch screen. Also set as default in Windows 8.1 for desktops and notebooks which are meant to be used with keyboard+mice. For Tablets and other touch-optimized PCs, yes, the Modern UI Start screen makes sense, and should be set as default.
Microsoft planning to bring an option in Windows 8.1 which would allow users to boot directly to the traditional desktop environment, skipping the Start screen altogether on first boot. This move somewhat defines the fact that Microsoft might just be regretting their Metro / Modern decision and a majority of its users aren’t sold to the new UI.