Start Button returning in Windows 8.1 with updated Charms Bar, insiders claim

Set for a public preview in June, Windows 8.1 has just got another set of rumoured features, this time suggesting the update will resurrect the Start button and generally make many of the Metro features easier to use for desktop users.

ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley has reportedly been tipped off by insiders that Microsoft has numerous interface adjustments in the works, most notably of which are the addition of an optional Start button and an updated Charms Bar with a focus on desktop ease of use. Following the trend of increasing usability for desktop users, the Start screen will also reportedly be getting a facelift. Notably, these features may not be arriving in the Windows 8.1 public preview in June, but would potentially be seen in the final iteration of the updated operating system.

Foley notes that despite continual rumours that Windows 8.1, code-named "Blue," will be a complete overhaul in the wake of consumer backlash over the Metro-based, touch-based design, the update will aim to build upon current features rather than replace them. One hopes that making the radically different UI of Windows 8 easier to use for consumers switching from earlier iterations of the OS will improve the lacklustre sales numbers.

Despite the increase in Windows 8 tablets available, the majority of users will be in a desktop environment. As such, features of the OS clearly based for touch purposes may be updated in 8.1 as not to alienate these non-mobile customers.

Windows 8.1 will be available as a public preview Microsoft's BUILD conference in June.

Source: ZDNet

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