Leaked Windows 8.1 screenshots show that the much-loved Start button will be making its return to the desktop. In the screenshots posted by Paul Thurrott, we can see just how Microsoft plans to implement the Start button. (Hint: it's not exactly the same as the current Windows 7 Start button)
In the screenshot above, you can see that the Start button has returned to its usual location in the lower left-hand corner of the screen. The Start button is currently unable to be disabled, but it's not clear if there will be an option when Windows 8.1 is officially released.
In the above screenshot, you can see how the new Start button will function. It will still make use of the new Start screen that was introduced in Windows 8, which is unfortunate for those who love the old Start button. Users will be able to have the desktop wallpaper as the Start screen background, though that is an option that defaults to off.
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