Three major additions to Windows 8.1 may be enough to make some of the Windows 8 holdouts make the switch to a new version of of the Microsoft operating system.
Windows 8 may not have been around all that long, but Windows 8.1, or Blue as it is sometimes known around the interwebs, is already very much on the way, as confirmed by Microsoft itself a while back. Designed by Microsoft to be a relatively minor update that brings some changes to the way Windows 8 looks and behaves, Windows 8.1 was rumored to return the Start button to its rightful place, amongst other things.
Now, Microsoft and Windows guru Paul Thurrott has spilled the beans on a couple of the changes that we can expect to see when comparing Windows 8.1 with Windows 8.
First thing’s first – the rumors we’ve been hearing for a while have turned out to be true. Microsoft is indeed bringing the Start button back to Windows, with a charm-like icon appearing on the bottom-left of the screen, just where it used to be. According to Thurrott, hovering over the button causes it to change color just like the Start Charm, and features similar animations also.
Interestingly, Thurrott says that the Start button cannot be disabled, which is a far cry from the buttonless existence we’ve been forced to endure with Windows 8. That could obviously change before Windows 8.1 ships, and this is currently a Milestone Preview build that Thurrott is using.
That Start button is not the only change detailed either. Now, users can change the wallpaper used on the Start screen, making it match the Desktop. This means that the switch from Desktop to Start screen is now less jarring than it was before, which makes pressing that Start button feel less like users are jumping into a whole new interface just to launch an app. Remember, there’s still no classic-style Start menu here.
Perhaps one of the most fundamental changes in Windows 8.1 as it currently exists is the ability to boot directly to the Desktop, something that Windows 8 refused to do. This and the addition of that Start button are two additions craved for by many Windows 8 users, and we’re sure they’ll be very pleased to see their wishes come to fruition.