Microsoft is reportedly killing the Start button in Windows, a staple of Redmond's PC operating system since the landmark Windows 95. Purported screen shots of Windows 8 Consumer Preview are reported to show a Super Bar that extends across the full bottom of the screen minus the Start button orb. In place of the orb is a "hot …
There's other problems here
Many users will transition from XP directly to Windows 8 when MS finally convince people that older versions of IE are insecure, and they nagware that is Automatic Update starts shouting that there are no more fixes even to SP3.
So what some commenters here are seeing as incremental change XP->Vista->7->8 will appear like a big-bang.
I personally cannot abide any interface where I have to drill down to what I regard as the root window in order to open something new. I want and need something that gets out of my way when I am not using it, but can be called up when I do. I tend to set autohide on any/all UIs that I use, and run with several overlapping windows on multiple virtual desktops obscuring any 'tiles' or desktop icons. This is one of the main reasons I don't like Unity and probably won't like Windows 8 if this article is correct.
Looks like I am condemned to be a technical dinosaur, at least as far as mainstream UIs.
I would much rather they changed things to do with the base language used in the UI.
For instance, I am British, still not knowing much about Chinese writing, but forced to but a Chinese MS machine (for work purposes) when my old machine fell over irretrievably. I could (a) only buy one with the Basic home windows 7 version, and (b) found out that this cannot have the language for the OS changed without paying extra for Windows Ultimate edition. Because MS in its wisdom have changed the order of options in its menus, don't even have the same shortcut letters, and so on, I have been reduced to being a rank newbie at using the computer.
This is compounded by much software giving you no choice about interface language for them: they use the settings they find for the entire Operating System, and, in a catch-22 situation, you usually can only find the option for altering this (if it is available at all) by first being able to read the options in the language you do not wish to be used in the first place!
Linux allows you to alter these things easily and freely. I guess, MS will never turn down an opportunity to charge money wherever they can, choosing to call them something like "optional extra features" or some such rubbish.
They would do well to address these kinds of issues than mucking around with a Start button that is usually used to Stop the computer.
Start Menu customisation in Win95!
Start Menu customisation was available from Win95. it just took a bit more effort than clicking the "pin to start menu" item in the context menu.
protip for all users stuck on XP: put shortcuts to your frequently used programs in one of the folders in the PATH, or edit the PATH to include them, then you can start them by hitting WIN_KEY+R and then typing the shortcut name. The nice thing about Chrome is that it does this automatically for you :) It's almost like using Windows 7 (or OS X post Tiger (or Vista))
Maybe I'm too cool
I'll admit, I'm something of a keyboard shortcut wizard. My Start button is mounted to the keyboard, and has worked in every Windows version. It even does more things in 7 (I love Win+Arrow Keys). No biggie for me if the little blue button has retired.