Why Microsoft decided to ditch the Start Button in Windows 8

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When Microsoft first unveiled the Windows 8 interface, users found that the entire classic look of traditional Windows software got a full revamp. This included the lack of a Start Button, and instead a customizable Start screen that you’d find in both the PC and smartphone versions of Windows. But what made Microsoft ditch the classic button for these new colorful tiles? The company claims the reason is simple as this: No one was using it.

“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,” Chaitanya Sareen, principal program manager at Microsoft told PC Pro. “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?'”

Instead of referring back to the Start menu, now all your tiles are clear and out in the open, making access easier and faster than ever. In this Internet age, touch-centric shortcuts are key to getting things done in swift motions, especially when users need not search for the applications and links they need.

Sareen also notes that people prefer to use keyboard shortcuts, such as the Windows key and 1 to get Internet Explorer to open. Who wants to click when you can leave your hands on the keyboard? Though the Start Button was an integral part of the Windows interface history, it sure seems like the feature won’t be dearly missed, if at all.

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