Windows 8 users can currently bring back the Start button with third-party apps such as Start 8, seen above.
Rumors circulating for the past week indicate Microsoft is preparing to bring back the Start button in Windows 8.1, and now yet another report corroborates those claims.
Unnamed sources inside Microsoft have said that the Start button will return in the new Microsoft operating system, although the Start menu will not be returning along with it. Instead, the button will redirect users to the Start screen, similar to how the physical Start button on a keyboard currently works for computers running windows 8. The button reportedly looks “near-identical to the existing Windows flag used in the Charm bar.”
Microsoft executives reportedly told the Windows development team to bring back the Start button, overruling the team’s decision to keep the button out of the next Windows operating system. Currently, Windows 8 users wishing to bring back the Start button have to use third-party apps such as Start 8, seen at top.
In addition to bringing back the Start button, Microsoft may be considering including a boot-to-desktop feature in Windows 8.1. That feature may merely return for a “kiosk mode” that would be used in stores and public locations. A leaked screenshot of kiosk mode shows Windows 8-powered devices can automatically launch an app when a user logs in.