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The Start Button Isn't Going to Save Windows

By Salvatore "Sam" Mattera - June 4, 2013 |
The Motley Fool

It’s been rumored for months, but only recently confirmed: Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) is bringing back the start button. Its most recent version of Windows has been received poorly, in large part due to the radical changes the company made, including removing the start button.

Some analysts have begun to predict that Google’s (NASDAQ: GOOG) Android would soon replace Windows as the dominant global operating system. As Windows remains a large portion of Microsoft’s business, the company would likely prefer that doesn't happen.

But, despite Microsoft’s hopes, bringing back the start button isn't going to save Windows.

Windows 8: A radical redesign

Minor graphical updates and performance improvements aside, Windows has fundamentally been the same operating system since 1995 -- a desktop, familiar icons, the start button, control panel and so forth.

But Microsoft opted to break from that trend last year. Windows 8 is designed around the new Metro interface -- a tiled start screen optimized for touch. Through one of these tiles, a user can get to the desktop, but even there, things are different (such as the aforementioned loss of the start button).

In addition to bringing this button back, Microsoft is also opting to allow users the ability to bypass the Metro interface on startup, booting directly to the desktop.

In theory, this should make Windows 8 more accessible to those users that are turned off by Metro.

PC sales have been falling

Sales of traditional, Windows-based PCs have been falling in recent months. In fact, the first quarter of 2013 saw the largest drop in PC shipments on record. Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ) saw its PC revenue fall by 20% in the last quarter alone. ...more

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