In the leadup to the release of Windows 8, leaked preview images of Microsoft's next OS uncover a dramatic design departure from more than 15 years of Windows UI history.
Screenshots of a Consumer Preview build of Windows 8 reveal that Windows' iconic Start button, a prominent mainstay of the operating system's user interface since its introduction in Windows 95, has been removed. According to a report by The Verge
, images from Build 8220, a near-final version of Microsoft's Windows 8 Consumer Preview, have been leaked to Chinese tech site PCBETA, revealing an ever-increasing Metro-ification of the Windows UI and seeing the famous Start button pruned from the interface.
Image credit: PCBETA.com.
While the Start button has been removed from the Superbar (aka Taskbar), a similar functionality is expected to be available in both Metro and Desktop modes by hovering or swiping on a hot corner in the same bottom-left corner of the display. According to the report, the new feature will show a thumbnail preview of places to navigate to (such as apps, system settings or the alternative Metro/Desktop UI), but the shafting of Start could also not be final, with the site suggesting: "It's possible that Microsoft may reintroduce the Start button if there is enough demand, but this isn't a recent decision for the company so we expect its removal is final."