Microsoft Releases New Windows 8.1 Ad, Emphasizes The Return Of The Start Button

Microsoft today released a new video ad for the upcoming release of Windows 8. Even though the ad does not explicitly mentions Windows 8.1, it clearly shows the improvements made as part of the upcoming Windows 8.1 update. The video highlights the ability to snap apps side-by-side, different Live Tile size support, the return of the Start button, and the ability to have this same experience across tablets, laptops and PCs.

Windows 8 customers can update to Windows 8.1 for free in the Windows Store, starting October 18th, 2013. With the return of the Start button, new ways to personalize your Start screen, and more ways to do more things at once, the new Windows gives you one experience for everything in your life.

What do you think of this ad?

  • NGM123

    Tried to like W8, but it really sucks hairy balls. The flicking back and forwards between metro and original is jarring and uncomfortable on a PC and laptop, it just doesn’t work.
    I’ll buy a W8 tab in the next few months running 8.1 and see how that goes. I think it has great potential in the “touch slate” world but is an abomination on a PC.
    MS should have continued with W7 for work, and W8 as a separate system for play. 2 systems catering for the entire market place, not trying to merge them both and creating a cluster f*ck in the process for the main work related windows market.

    • Liberal Republic

      You can boot to desktop if you don’t like the start screen and you can disable the start screen entirely.

      • NGM123

        I know that, you know that, but Joe Schmo doesn’t.
        Marrying the 2 just doesn’t work IMO, have 2 systems for different products and own the world.

        • Yuan Taizong

          They are not really 2 different interfaces, you can see Windows RunTime more as sandbox’ed full-screen programmes while you run different on the desktop, and the RunTime interface doesn’t even look ”mouse/keyboard unfriendly” to me, it’s like saying that because Androids icons resemble Windows’ desktop icons that it’s touch unfriendly and you can only use Android with a mouse, let’s be honest, Android resembles Windows’ desktop more than the Metro G.U.I. does, so this ”touch-only” thing seems really far-fechted, and it seems to work for Xbox 360-owners who use an even harder way to navigate through it.

    • Rosani Masau

      I’m one of the Windows 8.1 early adopters. You can set your background in the Desktop to be your Background in the Start Screen in Windows 8.1. The scroll in the mouse also works when your in the Start Screen. This makes the experience no longer jarring and uncomfortable in a non-touch device. Shifting from the Desktop to the Start Screen with the same background makes it feel like your having a Start Menu.

      Another advantage the start screen has over the start menu is the search functionality. When click on the Start Button (and get to the Start Screen) you could immediately type and the results are quickly displayed and organized, whereas in the old Start Menu it took a long time to display the results, and when the results where displayed they were not organized.

  • Toron James

    I love Windows 8, Metro aka Modern UI is the future.

  • grs_dev

    I think to make the whole experience seamless, 8.2 or whatever the next version is, should allow me to pin modern apps to the desktop so that I can launch them easily when I am in desktop mode.

    I also want to be able to configure my tablet to go straight to desktop mode when I dock it for example and to modern UI mode when I undock it.

    I use the Family Safety Service and there is a lot of room to improve there.
    a) Allow me to install apps on the behalf of other family members to their account. If I like an educational app for example, I should be able to push it to all members of my family. Similarly a teacher should be able to push an app to all his/her students in a classroom.

    b) Today only the primary family creator is allowed to override family features such as giving extra time and installing apps etc. The OS must allow all parents or at least allow the parents to specify which family members can override the family safety settings.

    c) Shutting down the computer shouldn’t require 4 to 5 clicks or steps depending on where you are in the system. If I am in desktop mode, and I need to shutdown the system because the flight attendant is enjoying her moment of power where she gets to tell me to turn off my approved electronic until I reach 10,000 ft altitude and the captain tells me I am allowed to turn it back on, I need to be able to just turn it off without killing the damn device by holding down the power button.

    d) Keep it simple Microsoft. Printing should be visible in plain sight. I shouldn’t have to figure out where you’ve hidden the print functionality in order to get a quick print out of a document. I get that you want to centralize the print function, but build the bridge to get there don’t throw the user onto an island right away with these rudimentary functions.
    e) What’s up with the speed of the app store? If I had a dime for every time I launched it because it told me there are pending updates and then when the store UI finally displays there are no ways to navigate to the update because the little link in the upper right hand corner decided it was not going to work today… Make the apps update easily accessible even if there are no pending updates that are awaiting me. Let me go in there and see for myself whenever I want and ask it to check anyway. It’s great that it can tell me when updates are ready but ease the user into giving up control over these basic functions.

    • Yuan Taizong

      c) Solved, Windows 8.1 (Blue) will feature you to right-click on the Start-Button and go to shut-down, just like Windows XP/Vista/7.

      d) Solved, but that wasn’t hard, just use the right-mouse button, it worked for me since Windows 95 😉

      e) Solved, the Windows Store will feature automatic updates.

      And I think you’re on to something with a) and b) you should probably post those ideas to Microsoft, just go to the Microsoft Community and launch a discussion.

  • robertwade

    I love Windows 8. Sadly, there are too many lame-brains out there that Microsoft has to play to….this latest ad is just an example. The only people I have run into yet who couldn’t figure out and handle Windows 8 are people who shouldn’t have computers in the first place. Texting on a smartphone is high-tech function for them.

    • Yuan Taizong

      That is most unfortunately true, Windows 8 is really easy to use, another common complaint I hear is against the Ribbon user interface ported from Microsoft Office, most people seem to hate it, but it really makes the File Explorer way easier, and if you press Ctrl+Alt+Del you get a way better task manager, a few days ago I wanted to help my senior-citizen father with his Windows 7 P.C. (although I’ve migrated from XP last year, I’ve worked a lot with Windows 7) and I was hoping to find the same level of funtionality on the desktop as on Windows 8, but a lot of features were missing, people always seem to complain that Windows 8 ”never fixed anything”, but the only bad things I find in it are the lack of D.V.D. support for Windows Media Player and the unbundling of the Windows Media Center, that aside, the whiners get their Start-Button back finally, so they shouldn’t complain, if I press with my right-mouse-button on the Start-hot-corner (oké, maybe the return of the start-button is quite a good thing), I get a list with way more options than the older start-menu, in fact, this is the same start manu, only without the logo’s.

      And in Windows 8.1 (Blue) Microsoft will add a power-button there too, and I use the charms bar daily, it’s really easier than what’s came before. I love Windows 7 for the fact that it put back everything from XP, but I hate the fact that they’ve unbundled 3 apps and put ’em in the Windows Live Installer/Essentials suite to get ’em, Vista just looks slick, but Windows 8 gives you the full experience of all past Windows versions, even Live Tiles are (noted by Microsoft itself) to be the successors of the gadgets, and it really requires less clicks to see the weather, news, events, social feeds and tweets the moment you start your computer on the start-screen, and then you press the Desktop button and you’re easily on Internet Explorer browsing the net.

      Of-course I’m writing this primarily for those who have no idea how to use Windows 8 and those that don’t see the increased level of ease it brings as well.

  • AS147

    Its easy, end of story.
    p.s. They should have included a Windows phone at the end of the advert to show the simple experience throughout all of the devices.

    • Yuan Taizong

      I agree, but most unfortunately, Windows Phone and Windows won’t be One for another ½ year :-(

  • SpicyMikey

    I would swear I saw a demo of the app splitting expanding to allow horizontal splitting. In other words having 4 windows in a crosshair formation. That would be nice but I am running 8.1 RTM and there is no such ability from what I can see #disappointed

  • ElDramar

    thats a good ad. although I found myself wishing that I could manipulate Windows 8 the way that hand did.

  • Tim

    Very bad ad for Windows 8.1 because, as you say, it emphasizes the Start button BUT this new Start button is NOT the normal and true Start button with all its functions that was available on Windows 7!!!

    And this ad will painfully remind to potential Windows 8.1 users that, once again, Microsoft failed to listen to their customers and they brought back a very crippled Start button in Windows 8.1 that has nothing to do with the Start button that was on Windows 7 (with its jump lists and so on)!!!!

    For desktop users, the Windows 7 Start button with all its functions was dearly needed, not this crippled Windows 8.1 Start button!! It could even have been planned as an option so that desktop users could enable a Windows 7 Start button with all its functions in Windows 8.1.