Most of 8.1′s new features are designed for touch devices—things like lock screen personalization, search charm improvements, better built-in apps, SkyDrive integration, and Internet Explorer 11. But one of the more interesting admissions was that, yes, the Start button is coming back…sort of:
PCs today are evolving for a world of mobile computing where people interact with their devices through touch, and we designed Windows 8 for this. But we also recognize there are many non-touch devices in use today—especially in the commercial setting. As such we’ve focused on a number of improvements to ensure easier navigation for people using a mouse and keyboard.
We’ve improved the way you navigate to Start with the mouse by changing the Start “tip” to be the familiar Windows logo. The new tip appears anytime you move the mouse to the bottom left corner of the screen, and is always visible on the taskbar when on the desktop. There are also options to change what the corners do, and options to boot into alternate screens. For example, if you prefer to see the Apps view versus all the tiles, you can choose to have the Start screen go directly to Apps view.
That makes it sound like we won’t be seeing a return of the Start menu itself, just of the button. Of course, that doesn’t really matter because if you want your Start menu back, it’s insanely easy to get (and you probably already have it). There’s also an option to boot directly to the desktop, which is nice for those that haven’t already fixed the problem.
Windows 8.1 will be a free update from the Windows Store, and Microsoft will release a preview for everyone to try out on June 26th. Hit the link to read more.