Microsoft removes 'Start' button from latest Windows 8 build

Microsoft removes 'Start' button from latest Windows 8 build

Summary: Windows 8 "Consumer Preview" version (build 8220) are missing the Start button.

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Do you like the Windows 'Start' button? Well, if you do, you'd better get used to it being gone in Windows 8 because it seems that Microsoft has removed it from the latest builds of the operating system.

Here's a leaked screenshot from the near-final Windows 8 "Consumer Preview" version (build 8220) which comes to us via PCBeta.com:

Image credit: PCBeta.com

Note: More screenshots of this build can be found on PCBeta.com.

Notice the absence of the traditional Start button? I've reached out to a few contacts who confirm to me that the button has indeed been removed and replaced with a hotspot in the corner that will duplicate the functionality offered by the old button.

The Start button was first introduced in Windows 95, and has been present in every version of Windows since.

Now here's the real question ... does Microsoft intend to permanently remove the Start button, or is this a trial balloon and Microsoft is looking o see what the feedback from users will be?

[poll id="752"]

Topics: Windows, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Software

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171 comments
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  • RE: Microsoft removes 'Start' button from latest Windows 8 build

    If the hotspot does the same thing as the Start button then it doesn't make much of a difference whether its there or not.
    Loverock Davidson-
    • RE: Microsoft removes 'Start' button from latest Windows 8 build

      @Loverock Davidson-
      As long as they make it obvious to new users. You can also get the functionality by typing the Windows key or by doing the left thumb swipe and tapping the start gem but will my Mom know how to do that?
      sharkboyjohn
      • RE: Microsoft removes 'Start' button from latest Windows 8 build

        @sharkboyjohn
        "As long as they make it obvious to new users."

        Agree!
        mperata
      • RE: Microsoft removes 'Start' button from latest Windows 8 build

        @sharkboyjohn Mousing to any corner (farthest point away) seems to me to be inconvenient (kind of like the back/forward button in IE9). Why not build "start" into the top of every rt. clk. context menu. It would be there wherever-whenever you need it. Leave the keyboard button active for the more "traditional" users.
        ritchingsrj@...
    • RE: Microsoft removes 'Start' button from latest Windows 8 build

      @Loverock Davidson- I personally despise "hot corners", the corner of the display is somewhere the mouse it quite likely to end up (probably be worse if I was left handed) having it evoke an action means that a lot of the time that action will happen when I don't want it.

      Hopefully Microsoft will add another way of evoking a launcher that isn't so easy to trigger by accident (even if this is "off" by default).
      jeremychappell
      • RE: Microsoft removes 'Start' button from latest Windows 8 build

        @jeremychappell
        It's not that you can activate it by accident. You still need to click at corner to activate it.
        Samic
      • interesting...

        @Samic:

        "It's not that you can activate it by accident. You still need to click at corner to activate it."

        hrm...maybe to make it a bit more obvious, perhaps they should denote that it's a clickable area somehow...perhaps with a particular icon of some kind...
        voyager529
      • I don't like it, but I can live with it

        @jeremychappell I don't much like hot corners either, but I could learn to live with it. This will confuse the hell out of casual users though.
        Mac_PC_FenceSitter
      • RE: Microsoft removes 'Start' button from latest Windows 8 build

        @Samic Oh, okay. That''s not so bad then. the way "Start" worked on the developer preview was quite jarring - so maybe this will be better.

        My question is - where is this zone if you have a secondary display to the left of your main display?!
        jeremychappell
      • RE: Microsoft removes 'Start' button from latest Windows 8 build

        @voyager529 : "hrm...maybe to make it a bit more obvious, perhaps they should denote that it's a clickable area somehow...perhaps with a particular icon of some kind..."

        You mean, like, oh, I don't know, a Start Button? Okay, okay, in all seriousness, this hot-corner business sounds suspiciously close to how Linux's Gnome Shell introduced with Gnome 3 works. In Gnome Shell, mousing into the top left corner reveals a favorites dock and an activities dash. What Windows 8 is doing sound remarkably close to this. Is there anyone here who has messed with both Windows 8 and Gnome 3 who can make a compare/contrast statement?
        Brian Doe
      • Hot corners and multiple monitors

        @jeremychappell
        Yes, and it gets complicated with multiple monitors; is the corner moved to some other screen? Is it practical to mouse all the way over to there?
        cquirke
      • RE: Microsoft removes 'Start' button from latest Windows 8 build

        @jeremychappell

        completely agree with you there
        safadinjo
    • RE: Microsoft removes 'Start' button from latest Windows 8 build

      @Loverock Davidson-
      If the hotspot does the same thing as the Start button, then why remove the Start button?
      scophi
      • RE: Microsoft removes 'Start' button from latest Windows 8 build

        @scophi

        What? You expect Redmond to make sense? After all these years? After Vista? Sheee!
        mlashinsky@...
      • RE: Microsoft removes 'Start' button from latest Windows 8 build

        @scophi

        Exactly!
        pauldryan
      • NOT REMOVED, AT ALL. JUST A DUMB EDITOR WITH NOTHIN TO SAY

        FIRE THE TURD
        DrDean
      • RE: Microsoft removes 'Start' button from latest Windows 8 build

        @scophi <br><br>It's another bone-headed move on Redmond's part. <br><br>Keep shooting themselves in the foot!
        ScorpioBlue
      • RE: Microsoft removes 'Start' button from latest Windows 8 build

        @scophi

        agree
        safadinjo
      • RE: Microsoft removes 'Start' button from latest Windows 8 build

        @scophi If the Start button does the same thing as the hotspot, then why not remove the Start button?
        iaef
    • Agreed

      @Loverock Davidson-

      And as far as the Start button being there "since Windows 95", people seem to forget that the [b]functionality[/b] of the Start Button has changed along the way. Remember, under 95 & 98 the Start button gave you the main list (Programs, Settings, etc.). Windows XP introduced the idea of "here're the apps you most often use, but we also have links for those programs that you might need to access on a once-in-a-blue-moon basis". There were some howls when Microsoft made that change... but the average user ended up showing they were more than capable of adapting to it. Kind of like when automakers decided to make automatic transmissions the "standard" for new cars instead of manual transmissions (which used to be called "standard transmissions"): within a few years of the change, people had not acclimated to the change, but even wondered what the original fuss was all about.
      spdragoo@...