Microsoft revealed their new update to Windows today. Version 8.1 includes a long list of minor changes and fixes and improvements. In many ways, it's in a similar fashion to how different Windows 98SE was to Windows 98.
The biggest point of contention for Windows users with version 8 has been the Start Button - or lack of a Start Button I should say. Consumers wanted their old desktop back with the classic Start Button they grew to know and love since it was introduced in Windows 95. The people want familiarity and ease of use. Microsoft has been working on ways to get rid of the button for years now.
Windows 8 did just that. They gave us Metro - which is essentially a big colorful and customizable Start Menu where you can put your most commonly used programs and get updated with information without having to open anything. Many people find it confusing - especially when they are using it on a desktop pc.
They are moving away from programs and toward apps. It's a tablet and cell phone culture now. That doesn't mean there's no longer any use for laptops and desktops. Touchscreens are convenient and small and they aren't going away... the market is going to continue to grow in fact, but desktop computers are going to be around for awhile. This is particularly true in business and publishing and design. Metro icons are a distraction and a hindrance of productivity.
Public outcry has been loud for Microsoft to return the Start Button to the desktop and allow users to disable Metro so they can get back to work. Microsoft responded by adding a Start Button back into Windows 8.1, but it's almost like a "fuck you" or a big "gotcha!" to consumers. All it does is pull up the Metro Start screen when you click it. Nothing else. That means there are now 4 ways to get to the Metro interface.
Microsoft brought it back with the thinking that novice PC users and senior citizens were having trouble navigating without the Start Button. The opposite is true as it would seem that most people who wanted the Start Button back are long-time users. I'm personally a bit offended and insulted by Microsoft's little trick. It's like they are saying, "here, dummy - here's your damn start button - it goes to Metro, LOL! Enjoy, asshole!"
I'll stick with Windows 7 until they get it right.