That iconic little button at the lower-left corner of your computer screen is soon to be no more.
Even though original pictures of early builds of Windows 8 showed the classic “Start” word beaming proud at the bottom of the screen, Microsoft has apparently decided to nix the means of navigation so many users have become accustomed to.
In the new version of Windows, all the changes revolve around what Microsoft is calling the “Metro UI,” which allows users to have complete customization on their home page, including widgets, RSS readers, weather information, date/time, etc.
Metro UI will also have deep multitasking chops, giving users the ability to easily toggle back and forth between different apps and websites. The prototype unit shown at BUILD looks similar to an iPad, with virtually no buttons on the device itself. Microsoft wants touch input to be the main control mechanism, but in a way that’s new and different – not just tapping, but swiping and gesturing.
Since this is such a revolutionary new platform, Microsoft wants to scrap out all remnants of the “old-school” look and feel. Instead of a Start bar, hovering your mouse over that corner of the screen will allow you to swap between the Metro UI and the traditional desktop, according to a report from Theverge.com. For the mobile version of Windows 8, the Metro UI will be the default interface.
General users will finally be able to take Windows 8 for a spin at the end of the month, when Microsoft released the Consumer Preview.