Microsoft reveals the new Windows 8 start button

By Tom Warren, on 24th Aug 11 5:48 am with 69 Comments

New Windows 8 start button

Microsoft has revealed part of its new Windows 8 user interface.

The software giant is making a subtle change to its iconic Windows Start button. The new button appears to be more flat with pastel colors, reflecting Microsoft’s adoption of the Metro design language it now uses throughout the company. Microsoft revealed the new start button in its latest building Windows 8 video (see below) relating to file copy, move and delete dialog boxes in the next version of Windows. Microsoft revealed its new Windows 8 user interface back in June. The Windows 8 UI is crafted to support the latest PC form factors, including tablets and hybrid laptops. The main elments of the user interface include:

  • Fast launching of apps from a tile-based Start screen, which replaces the Windows Start menu with a customizable, scalable full-screen view of apps.
  • Live tiles with notifications, showing always up-to-date information from your apps.
  • Fluid, natural switching between running apps.
  • Convenient ability to snap and resize an app to the side of the screen, so you can really multitask using the capabilities of Windows.
  • Web-connected and Web-powered apps built using HTML5 and JavaScript that have access to the full power of the PC.
  • Fully touch-optimized browsing, with all the power of hardware-accelerated Internet Explorer 10.

Microsoft will detail and release a Windows 8 Developer Preview at its BUILD conference next month. Stay tuned for full coverage of Windows 8 and BUILD at WinRumors.com.

Thanks to @ranger_000 for the news tip

  • GP007

    If you go back to the first video that shows the start screen and or the demos of the new UI when they open the right hand control pane or w/e they’re calling it, the start button you see there seems to be the exact same one in the above video, so if anything they’re dumping the Orb and just making it the same between the two UIs if you will.

  • GP007

    If you go back to the first video that shows the start screen and or the demos of the new UI when they open the right hand control pane or w/e they’re calling it, the start button you see there seems to be the exact same one in the above video, so if anything they’re dumping the Orb and just making it the same between the two UIs if you will.

    • Anonymous

      Yeah, its also more in lined with the orb-less Windows button on WP7.

    • http://www.winrumors.com Tom W

      It’s still the old orb button in the original videos:

    • Candid Calum

      I think he means in the Building Windows 8 Video #1 when the demonstrator swipes to the right side of the screen, while in the Immersive experience, and the black sidebar appears. The Start button on that black sidebar appears to be exactly the same as seen here on the Taskbar.

    • http://www.winrumors.com Tom W

      Ah I see, yes looks identical :)

    • Candid Calum

      I think he means in the Building Windows 8 Video #1 when the demonstrator swipes to the right side of the screen, while in the Immersive experience, and the black sidebar appears. The Start button on that black sidebar appears to be exactly the same as seen here on the Taskbar.

  • http://twitter.com/michaelantj Michael James

    That was quick, tbh i’ve seen that start button before don’t think it’s final

  • http://twitter.com/michaelantj Michael James

    That was quick, tbh i’ve seen that start button before don’t think it’s final

  • Anonymous

    Doesnt fit well IMO

  • notahacker

    Holy poop inmybutt

  • notahacker

    Holy poop inmybutt

  • Sdreamer07

    Really don’t get why snapping apps side by side is restricted to 16:9 screens only. I’m sure 16:10 displays would work alright…

    • Joe

      are u sure 16:9 isnt just a minimum req?

  • Sdreamer07

    Really don’t get why snapping apps side by side is restricted to 16:9 screens only. I’m sure 16:10 displays would work alright…

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_KTAHVKS2RNDWTQPHQEJALLRNEQ Adam Paris

    They are slowly showing a bit of the new Desktop UI. It wont surprise me if the Aero glass will be changed by a simple colored task bar to be more in sync with the Metro Interface.

    • Vladan

      *fingers crossed*

    • Kaizad Avari

      it wud look ugly!!!! :P

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_KTAHVKS2RNDWTQPHQEJALLRNEQ Adam Paris

    They are slowly showing a bit of the new Desktop UI. It wont surprise me if the Aero glass will be changed by a simple colored task bar to be more in sync with the Metro Interface.

  • http://twitter.com/maihaidang Scaramouch

    maybe I’m wrong but I think the Windows Explorer icon is merge with the window above. Also all the icons look a little bit bigger.

    • Generalguy41

      Yea, based off that picture, doesn’t it look kinda like there is no taskbar at all? I mean look right above the start button. Notice there’s no obvious line dividing the window from the bar? Looks like the explorer window is taking on a zune-esque chromeless look to it (which I, for one, approve of)

  • Mohammed Ghadiyali

    I can’t say that it is original or fake……………………..

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7LSGGZaJJRQ&feature=player_detailpage

  • Mohammed Ghadiyali

    I can’t say that it is original or fake……………………..

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7LSGGZaJJRQ&feature=player_detailpage

    • 4orbidd3n

      I believe it’s Rainmeter using Omnimo skin on Win7 with some added tweaks.

  • Anonymous

    I want the preview build now ;) 

  • http://twitter.com/TechDudeGeorge George S

    And you notice that in the Ribbon, the menu button that used to look the one in Paint/Wordpad now says “File” like Office 2010.

    • John M Cary

      Yeah I noticed that, I was wondering when someone was going to comment on that.

    • John M Cary

      Yeah I noticed that, I was wondering when someone was going to comment on that.

  • Anonymous

    Mac has had the multiple copy indicators since OSX 10.0 in 2001. It’s a great feature that I have loved since I got mine in 2006. I wish we had it back with Windows 95.

    In the last 20 years, the lack of pause hasn’t affected me or anyone I know. Nor has viewing the data transfer rate. If it’s going to take too long, we do it another time… Or wait. These ‘features’ are not great steps forward, as they do not solve that problem.

    As for the ‘resolution dialog’. On the Mac, iPhoto and Aperture do this for images. iTunes does this for music and videos. It’s a great feature and about time it was on Windows, but I’m not sure it should be part of the OS. iPhoto and iTunes are media managers, and they are best suited to managing those files. Does this conflict resolver work for, say, MP3, or avi? If it does, it will be a great feature, but if it’s limited to photos….

    • http://www.about.me/AngeloGopaul Eingoluq

      Dude, I think it meant for all file types not just media files…. and I cant tell if youre trolling ot not.

    • Anonymous

      I put the comment in the wrong article. It’s been moved.

      As I said, if it’s limited to just images, as the demo showed, then it’s an incomplete feature. Windows has always had a replace file confirmation dialog, so it’s not helping resolve anything there.

      Trolling…. If that’s what you call reading articles and giving a critical view, then I guess so. I’ve been accused of it several times here, despite what I think is reasonable evidence supporting my critiques. I’ve also been called an Apple lover, Apple hater, Droid lover, Droid hater. You name it. Emotions run too high over these issues. It’s just conversation. If I say something incorrect, then show me. Some do, and it turns into a good debate. Most though just insult and vanish.

    • Johnloce

      You

    • Anonymous

      It’s a file management system. What makes you think it would be limited to images? Windows always had a replace dialog, but this one has been changed quite a bit. It shows you thumbnails of the two files and makes it easier to select which to replace with the use of checkboxes. Definetly looks better.

    • Anonymous

      It’s a file management system. What makes you think it would be limited to images? Windows always had a replace dialog, but this one has been changed quite a bit. It shows you thumbnails of the two files and makes it easier to select which to replace with the use of checkboxes. Definetly looks better.

    • Johnloce

      Troll

  • Monkey_Breaker

    If i read “the software giant” on winrumors again, i’m literally gonna kill myself. It’s in nearly evey post dude. Please consider this for future posts….please!

    • http://www.gadgeterija.net Denis Jelec

      They _are_ the software giant. What’s wrong with wording there?

    • Anonymous

      Would he prefer software midget?

    • http://www.gadgeterija.net Denis Jelec

      Not to mention his “literally gonna kill myself” part without realizing what he actually said.

    • Major Plonquer

      “the software giant”
       ”the software giant”
       ”the software giant”
       ”the software giant”
       ”the software giant”
       ”the software giant”

      OK. Lets see you do it. Literally, as you say.

  • Anonymous

    I was expecting to see the entire UI to be changed but i guess not.
    I dislike the white and blue elements of the windows explorer hope they would change it

  • Anonymous

    I’m still not at all a fan of the Start screen completely replacing the Start menu. I don’t want to be kicked out of the desktop to the new tile interface just to pick a program. And if that program isn’t built as a Web-powered app, it’s going to kick me back to the desktop. It just doesn’t make any sense. I hope Microsoft finds a way of addressing this.

    • Anonymous

      Why would you thing you would be kicked out of the desktop? Isn’t the start button’s primamry purpose to show programs so you can launch it? Once an app is launched, it would probably be in full screen mode. What difference would t make if the desktop or tile ui is underneath it?

    • Anonymous

      I don’t think I’d be kicked out of the desktop, I know I would. Videos released of Windows 8 have all shown this functionality. You’re kicked to the Start screen, where you have to navigate across the tiles to find the application you’re looking for.

      That’s a waste of time. If I’m doing something on my PC, the last thing I want is to have my time wasted. Apps launch as they regularly would, only now you get the joy of navigating the tile-based interface for them. It’s not an intuitive approach — just give me the standard Start menu on a computer, because I see no purpose in utilizing the Start screen just to launch a program. If I wanted to go to the Start screen, I’d go there.

    • DonBolton

      Dude, you do realize that in in one entire windows session (and that may be forever if you never have to reboot) that it means ONE extra click?  If you said however that you like to see a picture behind your icons on your desktop, I would understand.  But in the scheme of things, the tiles ARE our new icons, only that these icons are “live” and talk back at you, give you feedback, I mean

      In fact, you will spend less time searching for stuff if you have your favorite tiles up front, and even more less time going into the e-mail program if the tile already told you if you have no messages.  Get it now?

    • Anonymous

      I already “got it”, but thanks for the condescending remark.

      Tiles are not the new icons. Tiles are tiles. They are the icons for the Start screen, they are not the icons for the desktop. The icons for the desktop still exist, as do the taskbar icons. So why are we removing the Start menu icons? Just to show off our fancy new Start screen? It’s stupid. I get to watch fancy animations, get to scroll through all my programs, and it wastes my time.

      Let me put it this way: if I’m editing a video, and I need to utilize a program that I don’t use as frequently (read: it’s not pinned on my taskbar and it’s not on my desktop), then I now get to go to the Start screen just to find the damn thing instead of simply clicking on the Start menu and either searching for the program or going to the Start menu folder or icon that contains it.

      I’m not going to spend less time, because my “favorite” programs are going to be pinned to my taskbar or on my desktop. And I could also pin them to my Start menu in Windows 7 and Vista. So how am I spending any less time by being kicked out to the Start menu interface?

      Get it now?

    • DonBolton

      Just to make sure, I went back to watch the Building “Windows 8″ Video 1.  Did you see that?  The most notable phrases I picked up in the beginning were:  ”The first thing you see is the Start Screen” and “Every app on your system is represented by a tile”.

      Hot news item, Aye:  The desktop is now SECONDARY to the Start Screen.  You START at the Start Screen.  In fact, you have to be “kicked out” of the Start Screen to get to the “desktop”, not the other way around.  The legacy desktop is now, well, legacy, for older apps (yes, unfortunately Office 2010 is relegated to legacy status, as per the video).  No more desktop icons dude.

      It’s a new approach/paradigm you gonna have to get used to, IF you want to use Windows 8 that is.  Ballmer said Windows 8 is their riskiest bet yet; that’s an understatement compared to what’s coming.  Give the video a looksee, and maybe that will answer the question for you whether I got it.  The real question now is, do YOU get it… yet?

    • Anonymous

      HOT NEWS ITEM, DON: I don’t give a damn. If Microsoft truly thinks the desktop is going to be secondary to the Start screen on most computers, they’re in for a world of pain.

      I never said there wouldn’t be a tile for every application, and I’m wondering just where you drew that conclusion from. You’re bringing up all these irrelevant points that I’ve never debated. I never said there aren’t tiles in Windows 8. I never said there wouldn’t be a tile for every app. I never said you didn’t start at the Start screen. The desktop isn’t a legacy — it’s still an integral part of Windows 8, which you would comprehend if you’d watched the entire video.

      Go troll someone else. I enjoy Microsoft products, otherwise I wouldn’t be on Winrumors, Neowin, and plenty of other Microsoft-focused sites. But just because I enjoy their products doesn’t mean I’m going to blindly praise everything they ever do.

    • http://www.facebook.com/reformed.ctrl.z Justin Wilson

      As long as you can still type to find the program you’re looking for I can’t see as it makes a huge difference. They haven’t shown that you can’t so basicaly all they did was change the start menu to be full screen and offer more information at a glance, but also make it easier to use on a touch screen.

      I don’t know about you but personally, if I need to go to the start menu, I hit the start key on my keyboard and type to find what I need and hit enter. As far as we know that won’t change for those of us using the keyboard, it just makes it easier to use on touch screen.

      I can see where you may be put off by the whole idea, but for the most part I don’t see as its going to be a huge issue. But since this is still an early view of the product we’ll just have to see what happens as the product develops.

    • DonBolton

      Just me trolling again.  It’s a good thing then I want to make damn
      sure that you get you facts straight: “I’m still not at all a fan of the
      Start screen completely replacing the Start menu” is the very first thing
      you DID say.  The Start Screen replaces
      the DESKTOP, not just the Start menu.  If
      you watched several other videos, and read a little more on the subject matter
      you would comprehend that the good old desktop metaphor has drastically
      changed.  The whole idea IS to let you
      spend less time digging for apps; they’ll be there ready to go, even helping
      you along.

       

      My point is that the whole notion of going through the
      start menu is now gone, or very much discouraged, praise it or not.  Going forward, the only place you will easily
      find the start button is right beside the start menu key, on your
      KEYBOARD.  Did you notice how Harris
      avoided the Windows orb, yes, “Start button”, at the bottom left…
      completely, when he FINALLY gave us a look at the old style desktop?  It’s his subtle way of saying “Don’t go
      there anymore”.  Those
      “irrelevant points” I mentioned are integral facts on the way this OS
      is going, enjoy it or not.

       

      By the way, no need to reply to this.  Don’t want to waste your time.  

    • Anonymous

      My goodness are you irritating.

      The Start screen does NOT replace the desktop. The Start screen SUPPLEMENTS the desktop. The desktop still exists, and judging from the video, they still plan on utilizing it far more than you grasp. The desktop is still going to be the key environment for most PC users, which is why they’re not abandoning it. The Start menu, however, is GONE. The Start screen REPLACES the Start menu. 

      Let’s make this clear for you, since you’re not getting it: Start menu go bye-bye. Start menu no longer there. Start menu not in Windows 8. Start screen take over for Start menu. Start screen what opens instead of Start menu when clicking on Windows Start button.

      I like how you know what his subtle way of doing something is. Because, you know, it makes so much logic to imply “don’t go there anymore” or it’s an “irrelevant point” on the desktop instead of simply removing the icon altogether if they really didn’t want you to go there. The current setup between the two ways of utilizing the operating system has some issues, and that was all I was commenting on. Microsoft’s comments on the matter of the post-PC era not even being close also indicate you’re likely wrong in your assumption of where the OS is going. Let me put it to you this way: do you think Microsoft is coding Windows 8 in a tile-based environment, or in the environment we currently know?

      I’m done responding to you, troll. There was a need to respond to this because you are incapable of grasping that the Start screen replaces the Start menu. You’ve gotten further away from my initial point as well, simply trying to throw out random facts to deflect from the issue that you have no interest in discussing what my comment addressed.

    • DonBolton

      Just me being irritating again.  Check a little further up on your post.  It’s not only me with the desktop replacement opinion.  Not only me and him either.  The rest of the industry pundits are all chiming in on the same thing. You made an erroneous initial assumption and did not realize that the desktop as we know it today has a new beginning, or ‘Start’ if you will.

      Yes, they are actually coding a tile based environment, HTML5 structures in fact, completely different from what programming platform used today, but that’s another whole ‘like it or not’ subject.  You will hear more about this on September 13.  Don’t be too shocked now.  And don’t be too shocked if the keyboard Start key now “take over for” Home = Start Screen = Good luck finding the Windows orb when you boot up…

    • DonBolton

      Just me being irritating again.  Check a little further up on your post.  It’s not only me with the desktop replacement opinion.  Not only me and him either.  The rest of the industry pundits are all chiming in on the same thing. You made an erroneous initial assumption and did not realize that the desktop as we know it today has a new beginning, or ‘Start’ if you will.

      Yes, they are actually coding a tile based environment, HTML5 structures in fact, completely different from what programming platform used today, but that’s another whole ‘like it or not’ subject.  You will hear more about this on September 13.  Don’t be too shocked now.  And don’t be too shocked if the keyboard Start key now “take over for” Home = Start Screen = Good luck finding the Windows orb when you boot up…

    • Anonymous

      My goodness are you irritating.

      The Start screen does NOT replace the desktop. The Start screen SUPPLEMENTS the desktop. The desktop still exists, and judging from the video, they still plan on utilizing it far more than you grasp. The desktop is still going to be the key environment for most PC users, which is why they’re not abandoning it. The Start menu, however, is GONE. The Start screen REPLACES the Start menu. 

      Let’s make this clear for you, since you’re not getting it: Start menu go bye-bye. Start menu no longer there. Start menu not in Windows 8. Start screen take over for Start menu. Start screen what opens instead of Start menu when clicking on Windows Start button.

      I like how you know what his subtle way of doing something is. Because, you know, it makes so much logic to imply “don’t go there anymore” or it’s an “irrelevant point” on the desktop instead of simply removing the icon altogether if they really didn’t want you to go there. The current setup between the two ways of utilizing the operating system has some issues, and that was all I was commenting on. Microsoft’s comments on the matter of the post-PC era not even being close also indicate you’re likely wrong in your assumption of where the OS is going. Let me put it to you this way: do you think Microsoft is coding Windows 8 in a tile-based environment, or in the environment we currently know?

      I’m done responding to you, troll. There was a need to respond to this because you are incapable of grasping that the Start screen replaces the Start menu. You’ve gotten further away from my initial point as well, simply trying to throw out random facts to deflect from the issue that you have no interest in discussing what my comment addressed.

    • Anonymous

      Yay, I’m not the only one who likes the Start Menu

    • http://www.facebook.com/reformed.ctrl.z Justin Wilson

      It makes since when you realize that its less replacing the start menu than it is just the way to switch between the two interfaces. If you watch the Building Windows 8 #1 you’ll see that after loging in it goes straight into the start screen (Much like it does in Windows Phone).

      The start screen is literally that, it is the replacement for the desktop. They’ve just kept the old style interface to make compatability easier for people and ease of use for people familiar with the old style of windows. It actually serves the dual purpose of making the regular use of the tablet simple for the everday user, but for people with knowledge of the workings of the machine you can still drill into the innards of the OS.

      The Start button is just the method to switch between the two interfaces. That being said something I don’t want to lose is the ability to just press start and start typing and do a system wide search to find any program, file, folder, etc. There are many ways to do this though, and I feel confident that MS will come up with a solution that fulfills my needs.

    • http://www.facebook.com/reformed.ctrl.z Justin Wilson

      It makes since when you realize that its less replacing the start menu than it is just the way to switch between the two interfaces. If you watch the Building Windows 8 #1 you’ll see that after loging in it goes straight into the start screen (Much like it does in Windows Phone).

      The start screen is literally that, it is the replacement for the desktop. They’ve just kept the old style interface to make compatability easier for people and ease of use for people familiar with the old style of windows. It actually serves the dual purpose of making the regular use of the tablet simple for the everday user, but for people with knowledge of the workings of the machine you can still drill into the innards of the OS.

      The Start button is just the method to switch between the two interfaces. That being said something I don’t want to lose is the ability to just press start and start typing and do a system wide search to find any program, file, folder, etc. There are many ways to do this though, and I feel confident that MS will come up with a solution that fulfills my needs.

    • http://www.facebook.com/reformed.ctrl.z Justin Wilson

      It makes since when you realize that its less replacing the start menu than it is just the way to switch between the two interfaces. If you watch the Building Windows 8 #1 you’ll see that after loging in it goes straight into the start screen (Much like it does in Windows Phone).

      The start screen is literally that, it is the replacement for the desktop. They’ve just kept the old style interface to make compatability easier for people and ease of use for people familiar with the old style of windows. It actually serves the dual purpose of making the regular use of the tablet simple for the everday user, but for people with knowledge of the workings of the machine you can still drill into the innards of the OS.

      The Start button is just the method to switch between the two interfaces. That being said something I don’t want to lose is the ability to just press start and start typing and do a system wide search to find any program, file, folder, etc. There are many ways to do this though, and I feel confident that MS will come up with a solution that fulfills my needs.

  • Frylockns86

    Good. I can’t say enough how ugly the start orb is on the superbar. Gah!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=11814278 Chris Woelfel

    Maybe I should have sent a news tip because I definitely said this yesterday on the video tutorial comments, but I guess no one pays attention to me. Oh well, no big deal, it’s just news. :D Can’t wait for BUILD.

  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous

    Windows 8 FTW, in the right direction, straight to the top…reaching sky high expectations..I still expect a UI change, explorer forward and backewward buttons, close, maximise, minimise buttons…change them please..

  • Anonymous

    Notice that Apple’s application icons are 3-D and beautiful. MSFT icons are flat and ugly.

  • Xuxete

    Nice, Microsoft is f*cking Windows even more! Congratilations!

  • http://profiles.google.com/jvs.smith Jeff Smith

    Take a look at the window he has open. It also has no border…. finally!

  • http://www.appatic.com Avatar X
  • Avi

    Did you see the SharePoint Sites link under Favorites in Windows Explorer?