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Windows 8: Is Microsoft really ditching the Windows Start button?

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Reuters

(Read caption) The Windows Start button is going the way of the dinosaur. Here, a Microsoft Office logo is shown on display at a Microsoft retail store in San Diego.

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The Start button, long an integral part of the Microsoft Windows experience, could be headed for extinction. 

The news comes courtesy of a tech site called PC Beta, which has obtained screenshots of a "consumer preview" of Windows 8, the forthcoming OS. Meanwhile, several tech reporters, including Adrian Kingsley-Hughes of ZDNet, have managed to confirm that the Start button will be replaced, probably by something called a "hot corner" – a feature that "duplicates the functionality offered by the old button," Kingsley-Hughes writes

The "hot corner," the team at The Verge reports, will provide "a consistent way to access the Windows desktop and Start Screen in Windows 8 regardless of touch or mouse input. The new interface is activated on hover from the lower-left corner of Windows 8 and includes a thumbnail preview of where you will navigate to after clicking on the new visual element." 

For Windows geeks, this marks the end of an era.

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