As Microsoft’s Build conference (June 26 to 28) nears, it’s only natural that we’d be hearing more and more Windows 8.1 rumors, and actually confirming a few of them. Today, we can semi-validate one previously unverified report that the updated operating system will bring back the Start button.
According to Paul Thurrott’s SuperSite for Windows, Microsoft will indeed be bringing back the Start button. You’ll no longer have a need for Start menu apps since Windows 8.1, informally called Windows Blue, is returning the long lost button to its users. In fact, it’ll look very similar to that of Start8, one of our favorite Start menu apps.
Thurrott, who has access to the Milestone Preview build of Windows 8.1, reports that hovering over the Start button will cause it to change colors “with a black background and the accent color used on the flag logo.” It’ll look just like the Start Charm and it cannot be turned off (not that you’d want to after finally getting it back!).
Even more good news is coming with 8.1: you’ll be able to boot straight to the desktop, completely avoiding the Metro-style Windows 8 home screen that so many users detest.
Thurrott also confirmed that in addition to the preloaded backgrounds and colors provided by Microsoft, users will also have the option of having their desktop wallpaper sit behind the Start background, though we wonder why this is a new addition and not something Microsoft made available to begin with. After all, Windows 8 is supposed to be all about customization and making an OS that works for everyone.
As we reported earlier this month, Windows 8.1 will be a free upgrade available as a public preview on the first day of Build, and we can’t wait to get our hands on it.
[Update 7:10 p.m. EST 5/30/13: Microsoft commented on the Start button as well as other new Windows 8.1 features. Read more about it here.]