Ballmer on Windows 8: Whole Screen Is a 'Start Button'

Microsoft launches new operating system

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Oct 25, 2012 3:18 PM CDT

(Newser) – Microsoft formally launched Windows 8 today, which, if you haven't heard, heralds the biggest change to the industry's dominant operating system in at least 17 years. It's designed to run on both PCs and tablet computers, and one of the biggest changes is the disappearance of the familiar start button at the lower left corner of the screen. Instead, there will be a new screen filled with a colorful array of tiles, each leading to a different application, task, or collection of files.

After his keynote in New York, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer was asked by the Associated Press whether there was any chance of bringing it back. His reply: "You've got a whole screen as a start button," a reference to the screen of tiles. During the presentation, a Microsoft executive had noted that the start button was something people had to get used to when it was first introduced, suggesting that people will get used to the tile format, too. See some earlier reviews here, the company's own blog post here, and a walk-through by David Pogue of the New York Times here.

A person tries a Samsung tablet computer running Windows 8 at the launch.   (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announces the availability of Windows 8.   (Jason DeCrow/AP Images for Microsoft)
Steven Sinofsky, president of the Microsoft Windows group, delivers his presentation at the launch of Microsoft Windows 8 in New York.   (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer gives his presentation at the launch of Microsoft Windows 8 in New York.   (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
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