One of the more controversial moves Microsoft made with the launch of Windows 8 was the removal of a dedicated Start Button. It’s still sort of there… but it only pops up when you hover your mouse over the lower left edge of the screen in desktop mode.

Some folks have been unhappy about that — so Microsoft is expected to bring the button back when it launches Windows 8.1, a small update to the operating system. But that doesn’t mean you’re getting the Windows 7-style Start Menu back. Hitting the button still takes you to a full-screen view with a list of all apps.

There is some good news for folks that hate the Start Screen though — a new “boot to desktop” option seems to be baked into Windows 8.1, which means if you pin shortcuts for your favorite apps to the taskbar or create desktop shortcuts, you’ll only see the Start Screen when you want to.

WinSuperSite has some images from a leaked build of Windows 8.1, and ZDNet has some more details.

Windows 8.1 Start Button

Here’s a roundup of tech news from around the web.

  • When the Windows start button returns, it won’t bring the classic Start Menu with it
    Instead, it’ll just be an on-screen button in the bottom left corner of the Windows desktop which takes you to the “all apps” section of the Metro-style start screen. That’s kind of what I figured, but some folks had been hoping for a return to the Windows 7-style UI. [ZDnet]
  • Samsung galaxy S4 Active, Zoom specs leaked? 
    Samsung is holding an event to launch a few new phones and PCs next month — and it’s likely that the Galaxy S4 Mini, Active, Zoom, will be among them. Leaked specs suggest we could see a smaller model with a 16MP camera featuring 10x optixal zoom, among other things. [UnWired View]
  • Analysis: There’s a niche for 8-13 PC tablets to fill
    Android tablets with 10 inch screens don’t do much you can’t do on a 7 inch model… which raises the question of why they tend to cost twice as much. Now that $200 seems to be the sweet spot for Android tablets, maybe there’s room for Microsoft to edge into the $500 and up tablet space with devices that function more like full-fledged PCs. [UMPC Portal]
  • Updated Acer Iconia B1 hits the FCC
    Acer’s budget 7 inch Android tablet has already shown up in some places outside the US… not it looks like it may be one step closer to a launch in the States. [Engadget]
  • Intel releases a new Linux graphics installer for Ubuntu 13.04
    Intel offers a tool that makes it relatively easy to install the latest official Linux graphics drivers for computers with its chips. Now there’s a version for Ubuntu 13.04. [Web Upd8]
  • Apple has sold about 13 million Apple TVs
    Apple’s box that lets you access iTunes content on your TV is picking up steam (as is the whole idea of bringing internet content to televisions). The company says it’s sold about 13 million devices so far… and about half of those were sold just in the past year. [The Verge]
  • AMD launches two new low-power chips for servers
    AMD’s newest chips designed for servers are low-power 11W Opteron processors based on the same Jaguar core as the company’s latest processors for notebooks and tablets. [PC World]

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8 replies on “Lilbits (5-29-2013): The Windows Start Button returns (probably)”

  1. No the start menu doesn’t return its just a button for more METRO YUCKINESS!!!!!

  2. Microsoft truly doesn’t “get it” at all. In a headlong rush to try to remain relevant after they destroyed a successful mobile platform instead of evolving it (Windows Mobile) they continue making one more mistake after another, culminating in Windows 8 which drags the desktop down into the same mire.

    The only thing that surprises me is Google’s slow pace in taking advantage of this, focusing too much on Chrome OS at the expense of a mainstream Desktop Android for x86 as a Windows alternative. Chrome OS has its advantages but I see Android as a better choice, filling the Windows WIMP/local computing niche better and already having a trained user base ready for adoption and developer community ready to serve.

    1. Windows Mobile was never really successful, MS lost billions trying to push it!

      They dropped it because they had to and moved on to something that stood a better chance! Only now have they started to get market share and finally taken the 3rd place slot…

      As for Google, making major changes to a OS is not something that can be done quickly or easily! It took them a long time just to merge their tablet optimized 3.x with their phone optimized 2.x to finally get the all in one 4.x Android!

      The move to creating a desktop environment is a far bigger task and requires them to do a lot more than just make it look like a desktop!

      While Chrome adoption rate is still below Windows 8 after over 3 years! So. yes, Android is definitely their better bet but it’s not something they’re going to get done anytime soon!

      And both Chrome and Android have the problem that neither was designed to be a desktop replacement!

      So it’s like trying to convert Glider into a Jet Fighter! There’s going to be a lot of steps between where they are and where they want to go!

  3. That UMPC Portal article is written in a very muddy and obscure style. It seems to be engaging in wishful thinking that Windows on a tablet will ever make much sense and will even displace iOS and Android in the 8 to 13″ market segment. The problem is that to do “more” as suggested, i.e. run full blown WinNT, you’re into thick and heavy power hungry devices nobody wants to babysit. Yes x86 is making inroads into very low power SoCs but these are still far more likely to end up being used in Android devices – and even Intel says so themselves. Windows is dying everywhere at the low end.

    1. No, the performance needed to run a desktop OS is available even on ARM!

      While mobile devices are being asked to do more and more all the time… Especially devices that will start pushing features and technology that’s only now starting to come out…

      Like augmented reality, VR, holographic displays, mobile video editing, etc.

      Even for Android and iOS, mobile devices have long ago reached the minimum performance to run them well but they keep on increasing performance because people want to be able to do more and that will never really stop and is one of the driving forces for why the mobile market is a fast growing one!

      By the end of 2014 ARM will have 64bit and will be able to start scaling up to even higher performance and Intel is already starting there by the end of this year with the Bay Trail ATOM release that will offer the approximate performance of a 2010 MBA in devices as small as a Smart Phone!

      So, unless an alternative comes out that can fulfill that growing need then Windows 8 still has a chance… can’t really kill something off if there’s nothing to replace it yet!

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