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Lack of Start button still said to haunt Windows 8

Published Mar 11th, 2013 9:35AM EDT
Windows 8 Criticism

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Windows 8 has taken its share of lumps over the past few months, but one analyst thinks its troubles all began with Microsoft’s (MSFT) decision to omit the Start button from its user interface. In an interview with CNET, IDC analyst Bob O’Donnell says that not having a Start button is a big turnoff to many users who have spent years working with Windows and who have come to expect it as a central feature of any Windows device.

“There were certain decisions that Microsoft made that were in retrospect flawed,” says O’Donnell. “Notably not allowing people to boot into desktop mode and taking away the start button. Those two things have come up consistently. We’ve done some research and people miss that.”

Not booting up in desktop mode is seen as particularly pointless, O’Donnell explains, because most users do all their work in desktop mode on their PCs and rarely use the tiled interface unless they’re on a tablet. O’Donnell says that several OEMs have apparently been imploring Microsoft to bring back the Start button and add an option to boot up in desktop mode, but adds that he wouldn’t be surprised if Microsoft stuck to its guns and didn’t significantly alter its approach.

Brad Reed
Brad Reed Staff Writer

Brad Reed has written about technology for over eight years at and Network World. Prior to that, he wrote freelance stories for political publications such as AlterNet and the American Prospect. He has a Master's Degree in Business and Economics Journalism from Boston University.