ZD Net's Microsoft watcher Mary Jo Foley published some details about the new Start Button that's rumored to be part of Windows 8.1. The button will reportedly look just like the Start button that's currently part of the Charms menu in Windows 8: an angled, stylized window. The Start button will likely be turned on by default, but can be turned off for those who prefer the Start Button free design that debuted with Windows 8.
The new Start Button will sit in the same place as the old Start Button but will work differently, it will remain full screen, with no option to bring back the Windows 7 Start Menu. Exact details aren't available, but the button will only be visible at all times in the desktop mode. In Metro-style apps or on the Start Screen the button will only become visible when a user moves the mouse to the bottom left corner of the screen. There's also going to be an "All Apps" view mode, this will be similar to the "all apps" feature in the Windows 8 Start Screen:
There's also going to be an "All Apps" view that users will have the option to use instead of the tiled interface, my source said. This is the same All Apps view that users can get in Windows 8 now when they bring up the app bar and select "All Apps." In Windows Blue -- as previous leaked builds have shown -- users can get to it by swiping up on the Start Screen. (The screen shot above of the All Apps view is courtesy of the Windows SuperSite.)
But Microsoft plans to allow users to show "All Apps" by default for those who don't want the tiled interface, my source said. In this view, selecting the Start Button will bring up the Start Screen with a list of apps with icons, and no tiles. Users will be able to arrange the icons by usage, allowing the most commonly used apps to be first. This view is the closest users will get to the Windows 7 Start Menu, even though it will be full-screen, instead of a list.