The absence of the Start button on Windows 8 has been a very hot topic in the tech scene since Microsoft showed off previews of the new OS without the iconic Windows feature. Now, Microsoft is trying to explain that people had simply started moving away from using the Start button as the reason for their decision.
In an interview with PC Pro UK, Microsoft principal program manager Chaitanya Sareen explained that Microsoft moved to delete the Start button from Windows 8 because of telemetry data gathered from the Microsoft Customer Experience Improvement Program.
It has widely been believed that the true reason Microsoft did not include the Start button on Windows 8 to force people to familiarize themselves with the Metro-inspired user interface. However, the senior Microsoft executive denied this.
To quote, the executive told the publication at TechEd in Amsterdam:
“We’d seen the trend in Windows 7. When we evolved the taskbar we saw awesome adoption of pinning [applications] on the taskbar. We are seeing people pin like crazy. And so we saw the Start menu usage dramatically dropping, and that gave us an option. We’re saying ‘look, Start menu usage is dropping, what can we do about it? What can we do with the Start menu to revive it, to give it some new identity, give it some new power? So I’m a desktop user, I pin the browser, Explorer, whatever my apps are. I don’t go the Start menu as often. If you’re going to the Start screen now, we’re going to unlock a whole new set of scenarios, or you can choose not to go there, stay in the desktop, and it’s still fast. You can’t beat the taskbar.”
“Press the Windows key and 1 and you’re already in IE [if IE is the first item pinned to your taskbar]. It’s so fast,” Sareen said.
As for the Metro-inspired user interface of Windows 8, Sareen stressed that it worked really well with a mouse and keyboard.
Nonetheless, PC Pro noted that during presentations in the event, some parts of demonstrations regarding interaction with Metro using a trackpad didn’t go smoothly.
To this, Sareen said that drivers which will be included in Windows 8 for trackpads are still being refined.
Windows 8 is expected to be released this coming October.
Image from comedy_nose on Flickr (CC)