Paul Thurrott report he's heard confirmation that Microsoft is going to bring back the Start button and allow customers to boot directly to the desktop in Windows 8.1. According to his sources, the decision to resurrect the Start button is driven by upper management, which overruled objections from the Windows team.
One might theorize that this wrong-headed decisiveness is what led to Steve Sinofsky’s departure from Microsoft, and that the current edict to fix things from on high is something that could never have happened with him still in charge. But that doesn’t matter. What matters is that Microsoft, is belatedly, is finally listening to feedback from its customers and changing the product as a result. That is, by far, the most alarming thing that didn’t happen—Windows division protestations to the contrary notwithstanding—during the Sinofsky regime.
Put simply, Microsoft should have designed Windows 8 this way from the beginning, and didn’t because the Windows division was given too much free reign after its Windows 7 successes. And it’s doing it now because the leadership that triggered six years of ignoring customer wishes is no longer there. As a result, Windows 8.1 will more closely resemble Windows 7 than the original Windows 8 version.