Microsoft Previews Windows 8.1’s Changes (Yes, the Start Button Is Back — Sort of)



On June 26th, Microsoft is releasing a preview version of Windows 8.1 code-named “Windows Blue” — the first meaningful update to Windows 8. In a blog post today, the company is publishing brief details on the new version’s changes, which it shared with me in advance.

There’s no way to talk about them without beginning with one particular tweak. For many people, the symbol of how radically different Windows 8 was from its predecessors was its elimination of Windows’ Start button and Start menu, perhaps the operating system’s most iconic features. If you were skittish about major change, their absence served as a convenient excuse to postpone even thinking about upgrading.

In Windows 8.1, the Start button is back, more or less. If you’re in Desktop mode — the part of Windows 8.1 which looks and works like classic Windows — the Taskbar will sport a Windows logo where…

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