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.