Those of you who have used Windows 8 will know that the Metro UI pretty much hides the classic desktop view which we have come to expect from Microsoft operating systems, well the desktop view is still accessible but it looks like we could be saying goodbye to the Start button which has been located in the bottom left corner of your display since Windows 95.
The start button has evolved massively with each Windows release for over 16 years, however screenshots of a consumer preview of Windows 8 recently showed up on PCBeta.com and clearly show that there’s a Superbar, but no start button. The operating system build shown in these screens (build 8220) is said to be near final, therefore unless the start button has disappeared due to a software bug it looks like Windows 8 won’t feature a start button when used in desktop mode.
One thing we’re not too sure of is whether there being no start button on show means there will be no start menu, will you be able to press the ‘Start’ button on your keyboard to call up the start? We don’t know at present, can you access the start menu via your touchscreen display or mouse? Will keyboards start appearing with no start button? We will have to wait and see.
With no start button the Superbar seems to be slowly becoming more and more like Apple’s dock for for OS X, having had some hands-on experience with Windows 8 we do still have some concerns as to whether it’s a brave or stupid decision to drop such a prominent feature. Microsoft is trying to merge a tablet OS with a desktop OS, but is this really possible? Could Microsoft end up making Windows 8 too tablet-friendly and in-turn have an adverse effect on productivity in regards to desktop usage? We think that there’s a fine line between minimalism and usability, Microsoft’s developers need to find the perfect balance.
Will you miss the start button / start menu?