Microsoft Start button returns on Windows 8.1 as a 'tip'

By Sooraj Shah
31 May 2013 View Comments
Windows 8.1 Start screen

In Microsoft's update to its Windows 8 operating system, Windows 8.1, it will be bringing back the Start button, but not in the form that many critics may have hoped.

The software giant's decision to update Windows 8 later this year could appease many users who have requested the reinstatement of the Start button, which was a feature of all Windows versions from 95 to 7, but some may see the new Start as little more than a token gesture.

Further reading

The button will only appear when users hover over the bottom left corner of the screen on touch devices and is permanently fixed onto the taskbar for Windows 8.1 desktop users. The new button called "Start tip", will have a Windows logo on it, similar to Windows 7 - but will not activate the menus that the Start button did in previous versions, instead taking users to their Start screen.

Users can customise the applications that are available to them on their Start screen, enabling them to reproduce something similar to the old Start button.

In a blog, Microsoft unveiled other Windows 8.1 updates including a search function to find content stored on the device that also taps into Bing. This means that users who search for local apps or files will also get relevant results from the online search engine.

Other updates include the ability to save files directly to SkyDrive, more ways to see multiple apps on the screen at the same time including the option to resize apps, and personalisation features such as using a lock screen as a slideshow for personal photos.

Internet Explorer 11 will also be included on Windows 8.1, with what Microsoft deems is "better touch performance and faster page load times" than IE10.

A preview of the updated operating system will be available on 26 June.

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