Microsoft not ruling out bringing Start button back to Windows

Julie Larson-Green
Microsoft's Larson-Green talks Start button

Microsoft has only been pushing Windows 8 since October of last year, but in that time, the company has already sold as many licenses for the new OS as it did for Windows 7.

Though a respectable number, it doesn't mean Microsoft is done tinkering with Windows 8, as its adoption rate isn't exactly blowing down doors.

Even though Windows 8 is all about the new Start screen, where all the apps are neatly organized into easily accessible tiles, there's been a call to reinstate some familiar features back into the fold. Those hollers may just get their wish.

During today's events at the Wired Business Conference in New York City, Microsoft's Corporate Vice President Julie Larson-Green told those in attendance one particular button may be back soon.

Start me up

As reported by CNET, Larson-Green told the crowd Microsoft has been having "meaningful discussions" about the return of the once omnipresent Start button.

"The Start menu was never built for a lot of applications," Larson-Green said.

"The [Windows 8] Start screen offers dramatic improvement...The Start menu is not the be all end all. But a button might be useful for some people to have on the screen."

That said, Larson-Green added Microsoft still believes in the convenience of "having live tiles and access to everything you want in a glance," though perhaps a Start button would allow for more flexibility and a less crowded home screen.

Starting the Blues

Talk of Windows didn't end with the Start though, as Larson-Green related few details yet significant details about Windows Blue, including that a public preview will land in June.

She did say that despite some reports, the changes between Windows 8 and Blue won't be major.

What specifically separates Blue (codename for Windows 8.1) from the earlier Windows 8 build we don't yet know, but perhaps its arrival could usher in the revived Start button.

More details on Blue are due at Microsoft Build next month, which may or may not coincide with the start of the public beta event.