After 17 years, the Start button is out.
Microsoft has made quite a few changes to the Windows user interface with Windows 8. Today, we learn about one more change the company has made to the upcoming operating system: the company is ditching the 'Start' button it first introduced with Windows 95.
Users of previous builds of Windows 8 will know that the Start button is flatter than we've seen in older iterations of Windows. The new appearance, though different to what users are accustomed to, better matched the over-all appearance of Windows 8. However, not content to just alter the Start button so that it better fits in with the Windows 8 UI, it seems Microsoft has elected to do away with the Start button completely.
Those that have used the Windows 8 "Consumer Preview" version (build 8220), which was leaked this weekend, say that the Start button has been removed. The Windows Superbar, first introduced in Windows 7, now extends the whole way across the bottom of the screen. However, all is not lost. The Verge cites sources close to Microsoft that say the Start button's functionality isn't completely dead:
"We have confirmed with sources close to Microsoft's Windows 8 development that a hot corner has replaced the Start button orb. A thumbnail-like user interface will appear in Metro or desktop mode, providing a consistent way to access the Windows desktop and Start Screen in Windows 8 regardless of touch or mouse input," writes Tom Warren. "The new interface is activated on hover from the lower-left corner of Windows 8 and includes a thumbnail preview of where you will navigate to after clicking on the new visual element."
So, it's gone, but it still exists in some form. No telling if this will be a permanent change before the final release of Windows 8, but we'll keep you posted.