The return of the Start button

Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows 8.1 will bring you… the Start button.

Ever since the introduction of Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 I’ve heard and saw people screaming for the return of the Start button.
Applications were written to make this so, even a Facebook page was created for this outcry. I’ve also found this page on Connect with the same request.
Forums were full with people crying about ‘their’ start button. Just a single example of people using not-so-nice language about this here.

So, Microsoft has listened and responded: In Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 they’ve re-introduced the Start button… but with one little change: What happens when you click on the Start button? Yes, you get directed to the new Start screen which was introduced in Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012.
This is fairly logical since the Start screen is basically your ‘old’ Start menu stretched over the entire screen.

So, people were SCREAMING that they wanted their Start button and Microsoft kindly granted their request.
Ow, wait a second… did you mean you wanted your old Start menu back? That’s not what you were asking for… you asked for the button, not the menu.
Next to that, you’ve got your Start menu already… it’s called the Start screen.

I find this extremely funny since people are getting exactly what they’ve asked for 🙂 Of course there will be some that will provide the argument that a vendor should look beyond what’s requested to see the request behind the request. I don’t agree with this… if you want something, you should be clear about what you want. We teach our children to do this, so why not eat our own dog food?

Now I do agree with people saying that the Start screen is ideal for touch devices but not so much for non-touch devices. I’ve even written about this back when the Start screen was introduced (you know, back when the community called it the ‘Metro’ interface) in a blog post called ‘The rise and fall of the Metro UI in Windows 8‘.
I stand by what I’ve written in that post… where the summary of my opinion is fairly short and simple: Start screen for touch devices is great, non-touch devices not so much.


  1. Jasper Rijkeboer says:

    I don’t have any touch enabled devices and I avoid the Start Screen like the plague. I highly recommend Stardock’s Start8 (5 USD)

  2. Arthur Blakely says:

    The funny thing is now I want to be rid of the button in 8.1 I want my task bar real estate back

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