UPDATE: Samsung did indeed launch a new lineup of Windows 8-ready Smart PCs and other devices. However, what won't be included is this rumored Start menu replacement utility.
Much has been written -- plenty on ZDNet (see examples here and here) -- about Microsoft's controversial (and frankly annoying) decision to remove the Start button and menu from Windows 8. While the company has worked to squash creative ways by third parties to bring the function back, it looks like major hardware partner Samsung has turned its solution for the missing Windows Start features into a selling point.
Samsung announced a trio of new all-in-one PCs yesterday, but nothing in its press release hinted at what Mashable subsequently reported. The electronics giant has included what it calls the S Launcher, which appears to be the old Windows Start menu in (not-so-much) disguise.
As the name suggests, you can drag programs and files onto the S Launcher, so you can have easy access to them from the legacy Windows desktop. It also provides a search bar, which could be especially useful to locate settings that Microsoft has scattered in its latest Windows version. And instead of users having to access the new Settings "charm" by scrolling over to the far-right of the desktop screen, the S Launcher has a dedicated Settings button.
For those who want a new PC, but who are wary of the new Windows 8 experience, the S Launcher could be a major selling point for Samsung, though the fact that the company hasn't exactly been touting it suggests that it doesn't want to rub ointment in Microsoft's eye. What remains to be seen if whether the S Launcher is a unique creation, or if other PC makers are developing their own utilities to circumvent Microsoft's controversial decision to drop the Start button and menu from Windows 8.
Do you like the idea behind Samsung's S Launcher? Would it make you more likely to buy one of the company's new PCs? Let us know in the Talkback section below.