Windows 8 gets a Start button - not a menu

The next Windows 8 will get a button to take you to new and mostly unloved Start Menu.

More details of the Windows 8 update are coming out and it’s much as we suggested a few weeks ago.

There will be a Start button on the bottom left of the desktop – Microsoft is calling it a ‘Start Tip’. It is NOT a return of the Start Menu from earlier versions of Windows. Instead the ‘Tip’ will send you to the tiled / Metro Start Menu.

You’ll be able to skip past the mandatory Start Menu and start Windows showing the desktop.

Both of these changes plus a ‘proper’ Start Menu can be had right now using one of the many Start Menu replacements available. We’ve been using Classic Start Menu which has an option to skip start Windows to the desktop.

Other Windows 8.1 changes that might interest Office users are …

The Start Menu is getting some changes. There’s new tile sizes and easier ways to rearrange apps into groups. Newly installed apps will be visible, as they were in earlier versions of Windows.

Skype gets more tightly linked to Windows. For example, you’ll be able to accept a call from the Lock screen.

Skydrive also gets integrated into Windows 8.1. Local and Skydrive files are accessible more seamlessly. There appears to be a proper automatic synchronization between cloud storage and local/offline storage. That’s good news for Windows RT users who have been left with no proper Skydrive support so far.

The dreadful and clumsy Snap feature for apps in Windows 8 gets a little better. More apps can appear on one screen as well as multiple views of the same app.

The Hot Corners will be configurable.

Microsoft is promising a lot more changes in Windows 8.1. Details will be dribbled out over the next few months. Preview versions will be available in the next month or so. Public release is set for later in 2013.

In the meantime Windows 8 for Microsoft Office users is our independent guide to Windows 8. We’ll update the ebook when Windows 8.1 is released with free updates for all purchasers!

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