Microsoft tries to revive floundering Windows by returning ‘start’ button in 8.1 update

“Microsoft on Wednesday launched its latest effort to reverse the fortunes of its Windows platform, showing off a line of new devices and unveiling Windows 8.1, a new build designed to boost interest in the company’s underperforming Windows 8,” Kevin Bostic reports for AppleInsider.

“At its Build developer conference at San Francisco’s Moscone Center, Microsoft looked to woo developers and win over customers who have been reluctant to upgrade to its newest operating system,” Bostic reports. “As the company confirmed in the past, Windows 8.1 will feature the return of the Start Menu, as well as the option to bypass the touch-centric Modern UI and boot directly to the desktop.”

Bostic reports, “The changes represent possibly the biggest about-face in the history of the software giant, which rolled out Windows 8 last year with the intention of reversing a trend that has seen consumers increasingly opting for smartphones and tablets while the PC market struggles… Ballmer in his initial address took the time to show a range of devices running Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8 software. Wednesday’s presentation, though, focused little on Microsoft’s struggling smartphone OS. Instead, Ballmer simply mentioned and showed off several new handsets — including Nokia’s Lumia 925 and several low-cost handsets — before moving on to Windows 8.1.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Windows 8.1sta.

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    1. MSFT: Oh you want the Start Menu Back?

      Windows 8.1: Here’s where the Start Menu use to be, icon. Not only can’t you delete it, it takes you back to Metro, which you never wanted to see in the first place.

      User: Starting my new computer, I am in Hell. Oh what’s this? Aaaahhh the desktop…. Oh and even the start button, but…., IT TAKES ME BACK TO HELL!!!!!

  1. What a f$@kin joke. I am soooooo glad I dumped the windows pc 7 years ago, I love my 2003 power Mac. Yes I would rather use an old outdated Mac running 10.5 than a new winblows machine. I do see a new Mac mini in my near future though.

    1. Ten years with a Mac desktop and still going with a relatively recent version of OS X. That’s another Mac success story!

      My WinPC using friends go through at least two to three machines in the same timeframe.

      1. I’m also still using a computer from 2004. But it doesn’t run an outdated and out-of-support OS. I don’t need to run out and buy a new machine to install software only supported on the new OS.

        Yes, my 2004 machine runs windows 8. Smoothly. Actually, it runs better under windows 8 then it used to run under the XP it shipped with.

        You could actually sync your 2013 iOs7 iphone on this thing. Can you on your 2004 mac? Last time I checked, you need sync software that will not run on that machine. Because apple decided that you need a new mac.

        Meanwhile, that same iphone has no problems syncing with XP. An OS released in 2001.

        That windows pc’s need replacing every 2 years is a myth.

        1. No not a myth, you may be the rare exception to the rule. Just because someone survives standing near the mouth of a volcano during an eruption does not mean its a good idea in general.

          1. “No not a myth, you may be the rare exception to the rule” You are joking right? where do morons like you get this idea that macs outlast PCs? If you want to to throw your apple flavoured dick around the room that’s fine but stop being dillusional.

      2. So this proves macs last longer than PCs? seriously people like you irritate me. Its fine you use a mac, but don’t pretend they are better than PCs. Its all dependent on what you use it for. Your friends must be retards because ive had my windows PC for 6 years and no issues. Grow a brain you arrogant misguided moron.

    2. Go, run, walk, fly to the nearest Apple storse to buy a new iMac, Mac Pro, iPhone, iPad, iPod asap to supporting AAPL please, don’t use Mac for so long that’s not help Apple’s business. 🙂

      1. Oh, my wife and I both have iPhones and a few iPods too. I’m kinda torn between the Mac mini or an iPad. The iPad would probably be adequate for our computing usage.

        1. Screen size and what you do on it should help you make the choice. I have one 4 year old iMac running Mountain Lion, one ’06 first gen Intel MacBook Pro that can only run Snow Leopard, one Retina iPad, and 2 iPhone 5’s (soon to be 3 now that the step-son believes me that Android sucks after owning one). These cover all bases no matter what I want to do. I like a big screen when creating movies, using iPhoto to make books or working in InDesign & Photoshop. My step-son plays 2nd Life and likes the big screen of an iMac. I need my laptop to multitask watching TV and designing, or when I can’t use the iMac because the kid is on it, or other away from home needs (though the old laptop runs very hot if I try to use my 2nd Life account or if a Flash Video is running on it). Love the iPad for light travel and casual web sofa-surfing and my zillions of time wasting iPad games. ! I just find a need for every Mac and iSomethings. Next purchase will probably be a new iMac. I’m kinda attached to the laptop even though it’s old, it’s been SO reliable and 100% problem free I can’t part with it until it dies. Kinda curious how long it will last.

      2. Do you work for Apple?

        Possibly you do and your cheerleading explains why backwards compatibily is now 2-3 years and just WONDERFUL.

        FEED THE PIG!

        Apple has more than enough money in the bank (idle cash). @Scottr post was about consumer choice and longevity of Apple products, not throwing more money out the window for NO reason. The hip up to date users are entitled to buy a new computer every six months if they wish. When you get older, you may see it differently.

        I too have a 2003 Mac that works great and use everday because of legacy software that was bought out by another company and terminated for upgrades. But it just WORKS.

        That said, I also bought a new iMac with different software requirements (need) last year.

        My point is to not DISCOUNT legacy users. Apple computers are bullet proof and my MacIIfx still works like a charm. That said, my software needs and ability to connect to the internet moved on …

        1. “… your cheerleading explains why backwards compatibily is now 2-3 years and just WONDERFUL.”

          Huh? From everything I’ve read, my 2009 MacBook Pro should be able to use Mavericks just fine. That’s a bit more than 3 years.

          And my 7300 still works like a charm too, but I like the advantages of using newer hardware and newer software.

          I think that I get what you’re saying, and yeah, it’d be great to be able to support backwards compatibility for everything back to the beginning of computers, but what a limiting experience. Just look at how MS had to keep extending support for XP and how much that has hobbled them.

          I don’t like being forced to buy new stuff before I want to – but I’ve also enjoyed the benefits of Apple pushing us to stay more current.

    3. The Mac mini is a great choice. Actually for most people who aren’t using a computer professionally it’s more than enough. iMacs are great but certainly more expensive. If you were to buy the upcoming Apple Cinema Display it would last you through several Mac Minis to be sure. And it looks to be retina. Cheaper in the long run than iMacs.

      1. I do use a mac mini for app development professionally. I use it on the same monitor as my business pc my company provided me. Works just fine this way. Just needs some extra RAM.

  2. One of the reasons why I switched from Windows to OS X was that even with the Start button, using Windows was like taking a hose and spraying water all over your lawn. It’s not very scientific – you don’t measure how much water is going where and what plants need more water than others. OS X is like an automated sprinkler system that comes on at a preset time, akin to the Nest thermostat that dials your temperature automatically. OS X does things in great style and is fun to use as a result. Paraphrasing Steve Jobs, “OS X is the funnest OS since sliced bread.” Yeah, it’s been a sugar rush using OS X. There are not many operating systems in the world that I can say, “I love using it.” OS X is one of them. I have used Windows 7, Ubuntu Linux, Red Hat Linux and a bunch of others but OS X strikes me as the best of the lot, both from a usability perspective and the logical way things are laid out on the desktop.

    Windows, on the other hand, is like that slightly mad auntie that comes to your house and lectures you on what girlfriends you should have, etc. – it is slight schizophrenic to use and you’ll be tearing your hair out in next to no time because Windows lacks fluidity. The fluidity of OS X while you stroke your touchpad and the mouse follows your every command.

    Bringing back the Start button to Windows is like plugging an bleeding abdominal wound with a couple of Band-Aids. It won’t stem the bleeding because the underlying concept of Windows is schizophrenic and only a schizo like Ballmer could love Windows. Ballmer and Gates are the only two Windows lovers in the world. The rest of the population are locked into cheap and nasty – they use it but don’t love it.

    1. “His Horse Is Spirited.” No wonder you led the Lakota to victory against the pale oppressors in 1876. They had no idea what metaphor was coming next at the Battle of the Little Big Horn.

    2. “… Bringing back the Start button to Windows is like plugging an bleeding abdominal wound with a couple of Band-Aids. It won’t stem the bleeding because the underlying concept of Windows is schizophrenic …”

      Really agree with what you had to say.

      In speaking with Windows people, it generally seems that they use it because they have to, or they don’t know any better (ie, they’ve never actually used a Mac, but they know it sucks – because they’ve heard it somewhere).

      I’ve used Windows. I don’t like it. I find it to be unintuitive with needless extra steps and it’s painful to look at.

      I use a Mac because It is intuitive for me and works they way that I like to work. Simply put, I find it to be a pleasant computing experience, while Windows is not.

      1. “In speaking with Windows people, it generally seems that they use it because they have to, or they don’t know any better (ie, they’ve never actually used a Mac, but they know it sucks – because they’ve heard it somewhere).”

        That’s nice, where did you pull that comment? Out of your elitist ass? You couldn’t sound more stuck up if you sat your pretentious ring around a fucking flagpole.

        Its fine you like your mac. Its not a bad machine, but don’t make stupid sweeping generalizations. Is it not just possible, just a LITTLE possible, that some people might use windows because they like it? No? Well fuck me you are a complete fucking idiot then. Thanks for explaining to me that I only like windows because I don’t “know any better”. You fucking degrading piece of shit. Who the fuck do you think you are.

        Posted from my ipad. because i’m not a fucking douchebag who thinks he needs to swear his allegiance to a brand.

    1. Yep. Windows “innovation” sucks so they regress backward to sucky OLD “innovation” that people are at least used to being sucky. Familiar suckage is a plus to clueless Winduhz users. They demand their old Start button that never really made sense being named a Start button in the first place.

  3. From what I’ve read, the “Start Button” is back on the Desktop, but when you click on it, it brings up a Metro “tile” screen. What?

    So, Microsoft “listened” to PC users who don’t want to use tablets, and put the Start Button back on the traditional non-Metro desktop, but when the user clicks on it, it takes the user to the Metro interface? Seriously, Is that’s really how it works…? Non-tablet Windows users wanted the Start Button (and its menu) back, so they can avoid the so-called “Modern UI,” right? And Microsoft shoves it right back in the user’s face.

    Long-time Windows users… Welcome to Mac OS X, where Windows users will feel “at home.”

    1. …but when you click on it, it brings up a Metro “tile” screen. What?

      That is exactly correct. I believe I found four ways Windows 8 victims can access a ‘Start’ button. Gee thanks Microsoft. Click the sucker and what you get is the startup TILE screen. No Start Menu. No such thing. Never to return. So says Microsoft. Click on the tiles. Get used to it. 😛

  4. Startling, but still a non-starter. (Sorry.)

    Do you still have to click “start” to shut down?
    I guess that does make sense in the Bizarro world of Windows.

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