A couple of weeks ago when the first Windows 8.1 ads appeared a huge deal was made about it featuring the return of the Start Button.
It was a 31 second commercial and the Start Button took up about 2 seconds worth of screen time so I am not sure I would agree with it being featured in the commercial. However, it was certainly mentioned.
This reaction is interesting to me because the Start Button is simply a shortcut that will take you to the Windows 8.1 Start Screen. The same functionality was there before the Start Button became visible in this update to Windows 8 and you could still get to the Start Screen in the same corner it now appears in. All it took was to drag your mouse down there and click.
I think the major disappointment for most users will be that clicking on the visible returning Start Button will not bring up the old Windows 7 style Start Menu.
In fact, on many of the tech blog stories about the Start Button being featured in this ad there were a lot of comments about the fact that it was useless because it just went to the Start Screen.
Users were really expecting Microsoft to bring back that static Start Menu from Windows 7.
Now I think with time folks will see that the Start Screen brings tons more functionality then the old Start Menu ever could.
You have Live Tiles providing you information about your apps and system at a glance, search capabilities that are available on screen and the customization options that let you personalize this screen to your liking. If these features are not to your liking then in Windows 8.1 you can even choose to have your device boot straight to the All Apps listing in Windows 8.1 or bypass it all straight to the desktop.
I still think you will have to learn how to incorporate the Start Screen into your daily existence on Windows 8.1 otherwise you will be missing what makes it unique. I think with time and use the benefits of the Start Screen will float to the surface.
However, one thing I can guarantee you about Windows 8.1 and the Start Button, there is no Start Menu at the end of that click.