Windows 8.1 Start button confirmed, rumored features and release date

There have been a lot of rumors regarding the return of the Start Button to Windows 8.1, when it launches this summer. Start button has been the heart and soul of navigation in Windows until Windows 8 got away with it. Windows blogger and guru Paul Thurrott has leaked a screenshot from the most recent preview built with the Start button back in its spot at the bottom left corner of the screen. Thurrott says that it will change color just like the Start Charm when you hover your cursor over it.

Windows 8.1 screenshot

Thurrott says that Start button cannot be disabled, which is a bit of a disappointment for those few who loved the buttonless experience in Windows 8. Another change includes changing the wallpaper on the Start screen making it match the Desktop. This is a Milestone Preview build which Thurrott is using and the functionality can change before the official launch.

ZDnet’s Mary Jo Foley added that functionality of Start button may be different. She got insider information from sources revealing that new Start will bring up an “All Apps” screen with icons absent tiles. We suggest you to take anything about the functionality with a grain of salt till Microsoft officially reveals it. The new features of Windows 8.1 will be previewed at the Microsoft Build Developer Conference in June, and the final version will be available as a free upgrade from Windows 8 before 2013 ends.

According to reports in April, Windows Blue will be officially dubbed as Windows 8.1. According to rumors, Microsoft is building new Windows 8 apps that will allow it to run side by side on a smaller screen devices such as tablets and notebooks. It is also bringing in Snap Views which will allow you to share your screen 50:50 between apps compared to the current 70:30. One of the big updates might include multiple tile sizes for Start screen. Some less trustworthy rumors also say that Microsoft is putting a deeper SkyDrive Integration and bringing Internet Explorer 11.

Windows 8.1

Currently you are not allowed to boot straight to the Desktop in Windows 8, you can only resume to it. Windows 8.1 might include that functionality as well because many of the users would like the option of doing that without having to hack their way through it. Some other tangible rumors mention a job posting on Microsoft mentioning core Windows experience expert for Windows Blue and quotes that the update will look to “build on and improve Windows 8” with time.

We will keep you updated on the issue so stay tuned to our blog. Follow us on Google+, Twitter and Facebook to get latest news about phones, tablets and gadgets.