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Posted by JP Gownder on April 16, 2013
ZDNet’s legendary Microsoft watcher Mary Jo Foley reported on an intriguing possibility for the rumored forthcoming Windows Blue update to Windows 8: That Microsoft could bring back the Start Button for desktop mode and/or allow users to boot directly to the desktop.
These are features that Microsoft should indeed provide to its customers in the next release.
Some analysts and designers might argue against these moves. To truly reimagine Windows, the argument might go, users must be taught a completely new way to navigate. Key to the Windows 8/RT user interface (UI) are charms, which take the place of the Start Button and which provide a simplified navigation system that’s particularly suited to touch screens. Users should segue to charms full time, even when they are in Desktop Mode, if they are to build a bridge to the modern UI.
Those claims might hold some truth. Yet Microsoft should reinstitute the Start Button anyway, because:
We live in what Forrester calls The Age of the Customer, a time in which companies that obsess about their customers earn a competitive advantage in their markets. During the period when the Windows Store’s modern UI apps continue to grow in number and sophistication, Windows 8 users need to have the strongest possible Desktop Mode experience. Empowering users with familiar tools wouldn’t be a sign of surrender, but rather a sign that Microsoft listens to its customers.
J. P. Gownder is a Vice President and Principal Analyst. Follow him on Twitter: @jgownder
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