While Windows 8 has a lot going for it, it’s also proven to be a very polarizing operating system that many users have criticized for departing too much from earlier versions. The most common complaint lobbed at Windows 8 is that it lacks the classic Start button that Microsoft users have long relied on as a central navigation tool. But with rumors percolating that Microsoft is considering dialing back some of the changes it made to Windows with the next major update to the operating system, Forrester analyst J.P. Gownder is encouraging the company to go all-out and bring back the Start button as a nod to users’ constructive criticisms.
“Numerous Start Button emulators with names like StartIsBack, Pokki, and StartMenu are proliferating — and many of them are free,” Gownder writes. “Yet I&O departments can’t support users easily with these emulators and would prefer a Start Button that’s simply part of the OS.”
Gownder also addresses potential concerns that Microsoft may have about selling its vision of touch-enabled PCs short by bringing back the Start button. In essence, Gownder thinks users will happily accept the return of the Start button and will be thankful to the company for taking their concerns into account.
“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,” he writes. “Empowering users with familiar tools wouldn’t be a sign of surrender, but rather a sign that Microsoft listens to its customers.”