VICTORY! The Start Button is back in Windows Blue/8.1 (confirmed)

You win: Ballmer's gang gives in.


The leaked Windows Blue (8.1) Milestone Preview build shows that Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) has relented. The Start Button is back, along with other UI tweaks that will have experienced Windows users rejoicing.

In IT Blogwatch, bloggers reposition their coagulated dairy products.

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment.

Mary Jo Foley breaks cover:

...from everything I've heard, the...Start Button is going to be part of Windows Blue, a k a Windows well as a new boot-straight-to-desktop option. ... Here's what I've heard from [a] source...who has been dead-on about all the Blue information he's shared.


The new Start Button...likely will be turned on by default. [It] will sit on the the same way that [it] does with Windows 7. ... Users can opt to see the Desktop, and not the Metro-Style Start Screen when their PCs/tablets start up.


A Microsoft official said the company had no comment.  MORE

Paul Thurrott confirms the good news:

I can now confirm that most of the rumored coming changes...are correct.


It’s back, baby. And...will look awfully familiar. ... When you hover over Start button, the button changes color...exactly like the Start Charm, with similar animations.’ll be able to use your desktop wallpaper as the Start background too...this is off by default. ... Boot to desktop [is] in there. And it’s [also] off by default.  MORE

But Neil McAllister brings bad news (and good):

...the rumors are true and the Start button really is coming back – though perhaps not in the way users...might like. ... The button features the redesigned, monochrome Windows logo, rather than the now-old-school multicolored orb. ... [It] launch[es] the Windows 8 Start Screen. ... Don't expect a return of the old-style Start Menu, because that isn't part of the deal.


That might be a bit better than it sounds, however, owing to another change. addition to the primary Start Screen...we'll also optionally be able to set the default Start Screen to the "All Apps" view [which] will now be configurable so that users can group their icons by usage. ... [Being] able to apply the same wallpaper [will] make transitions between desktop and Modern modes less jarring.  MORE

Honestly, there's no pleasing some people. Mark Hachman for instance:

In all, the alleged UI changes coming in Windows 8.1 don't appear all that spectacular. ... Those who disliked Windows 8's schizophrenic interface will still have the same complaints in Windows 8.1. [And] boot-to-desktop may be a superfluous feature at this point.  MORE

Meanwhile, Iulia simply despairs:

It takes literally an hour to get used to the new UI. It's not rocket science people. [And it] actually runs MUCH faster than the old version.'re too lazy to take one hour after installing it and understanding the new features.


It boots in a few seconds and runs flawlessly. Instead of complaining, open your minds and accept change, that's what drives the world forward.  MORE

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