Microsoft brings back ‘start’ button in attempt to reverse declining Windows sales

“Microsoft Corp is bringing back the Windows ‘start’ button, offering a stripped-down version among a slew of improvements aimed at winning over tablet users and placating PC customers alienated by Windows 8,” Bill Rigby reports for Reuters. “The world’s largest software company is looking to re-energize sales of its latest Windows version, which has not made the splash with computer users it was hoping for.”

MacDailyNews Take: What makes Microsoft “the world’s largest software company,” exactly? Apple is worth more than Microsoft, makes more money than Microsoft, and Apple makes software. Add up Apple’s iTunes software alone on OS X, Windows, and iOS devices and its install base is larger than any piece of software (POS) that Microsoft has ever excreted.

Rigby reports, “Shipments of traditional PCs – the most reliable gauge of Windows’ popularity – are expected to fall almost 8 percent this year, while Microsoft’s Surface has taken less than 2 percent of the tablet market… Confirming speculation, Microsoft said the Windows 8.1 update will have a button in the bottom left corner of the screen that acts like the ‘start’ button in previous versions of Windows. Although it will not be labelled ‘start,’ it features the Windows logo and takes the user straight to a grid of applications.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Microsoft. Mired in the past, with no idea how to move forward.

68 Comments

      1. If you think that’s bad, see what they replaced it with Windows 8. Start menu to shut down is pure elegance compared to using mouse hot corners or swipe touch gestures to activate a hidden “charms” menu to shut down the computer.

    1. I guess that is better than the current Windows 8 option of finding the (mostly) hidden charms “bar” that contains the Power option that has the shutdown option (if I remember correctly). It took my son a while to find it on his new laptop and even my brother-in-law that works for Microsoft said he had a hard time finding it the first time. Brilliant!

    2. Actually, this is what Microsoft calls an “enhancement.” Since this button will no longer be called “Start,” users no longer need to “click on the Start button to turn off their computers.” As a bonus, Microsoft kept the feature off Windows 8 for the first year, just so users will appreciate getting their “non-start” button back.

  1. Okay here it where it’s at: Microsoft does like a paradigm shift from 7 to 8 but hardly anybody likes 8 and want 7 back… Why consider 8 in the first place? The Lesson here: Microsoft wasn’t even pressurized by the stupid talking heads to change, but they did… And it’s a fu*kup… Apple is being pressurized to change by the stupid talking heads…. Will they cave in like a little ‘bitch’ on heat…?

    1. Too true!
      Best things about Microsoft Windows:
      1. The Start Button
      2. The fact that their users require a Start button
      3. The fact that they think the missing Start button is what is broken about Windows 8
      4. The fact that they tout familiarity, then fly in the face of said familiarity

  2. Sorry, but it’s too late now. You dun goofed, M$. Thankfully, I went Ubuntu before the ship sanked. (I have iPhone, iPad, and an HP laptop with Ubuntu. I don’t have enough money for MacBook, and I WILL not deal with M$ bull. Sue me.)

  3. It’s not just the start button—there are a host of changes, according to the article. Windows 8.1 features a vastly improved search function reminiscent of Spotlight, a grid of apps reminiscent of Launchpad, and now allows opening two windows simultaneously. Also, you can change the size of the tiles. Whoa.

    Microsoft will formally announce the new feature set on Thursday. We can look forward to learning much more about these exciting advances in the Modern UI. They may seem more like retreats than advances, but who cares as long as you can now spend more time getting work done than trying to locate your stuff.

    1. I’m sure you are right but it’s funny thinking that the solution to Microsoft’s trouble is bringing back the start button. Their problem started when they brought a tablet UI to a desktop before users learned the tablet UI.

      Apple on the other hand created a whole new user experience for portable devices then brought the best (?) back the the Mac.

      1. They were trying to claim a large chunk of the tablet market by making its interface familiar to its desktop installed base. Has backfired though in all honesty what other avenue did they have. Over time I guess it may give them some traction assuming he desktop market survives long enough to feed it.

  4. I found Windows 8 instantly appalling when I saw it demoed at the M$ store on a touch screen covered with fingerprints (and germs). I will never paw up my big desktop screen (ick!) and the idea that this is the future is a huge flop. I like my Apple keyboard because it is so easy to wipe off. Let the desktop computer be the truck and the iOS devices be the car. Trying to marry them together gets the ugliest minivan only a soccer mom could love.

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