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Microsoft will likely bring back the Start button in the next version of Windows, but it won’t be the Start button users have known for years.
Ever since the launch of Windows 8 late last year, many users who have been put off by the Start screen have been asking for the Start button back. They’ve also been asking for the ability to boot to desktop. Microsoft will likely include these two things in Windows 8.1, which will arrive later this year.
But The Verge reports that this new Start button will simply take users to the Start screen (see above) rather than provide all the functions of the old Start button. This would be an extremely lame move, a tease that doesn’t actually help users who relied on the Start button in older versions of Windows.
While this news may be dismaying for some, there are already several Windows 8 apps that act as a full Start button replacement, letting you open apps and find files through an interface similar to what was on Windows 7. These apps include Pokki, Start8, and Classic Shell, and they also allow you to boot directly to the desktop.
To remedy the lack of a Start button on my end, I’ve been using Pokki on my Windows 8 desktop and it works quite well. It lets me shut down the computer, access apps, and boot directly to the desktop, which I primarily use. I hardly ever see the Start screen and only go to it if I want to use a Windows 8 app like Netflix.