RIP Windows start button?

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RIP Windows start button?

Could Microsoft be planning to put the Start button out to pasture after 15 years of loyal service? If a recently leaked consumer preview of Windows 8 is anything to go by, the answer might be yes.

As reported by the Verge, screenshots of a near-final Windows 8 "Consumer Preview" have leaked to the internet, showing a clean interface with no visible menu or Start button. (You can see the leaked images here.) Previous betas of Windows 8 had included a Start button orb. 

According to the Verge's story, the Start button will still live on via a hot corner, appearing when you move the mouse to the corner of the screen.

As we discussed last week, traditional user interfaces are evolving, with new UIs emphasising touch-control (Ubuntu's new HUD display is a prime example). 

If the Windows Start button is indeed swept under the carpet it could be a real tipping point. Watch this space. The next preview version of Windows 8 is expected to be released this month.

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