Windows 8.1 is coming. The release date is close. It’s free. Why upgrade? Not only are upgrades sensible from a performance and security perspective, but you get new features. One recipient of some feature love is the Start Menu. If you have already installed the Windows 8.1 preview, then you have experienced some of this magic. Like what? Let’s take a look!

1. imageStart button

To me, I don’t need a Start Button. But let’s face it, the Start Button is important to most users. It’s comfort food to Windows users – and in the end, nobody matters like our users. In Windows 8.1, it’s back from its vacation. What does it launch? The Start Menu, of course.

Bonus: Right-click the returned Start Button (or Start “Tip“) and reveal the Quick Link menu for experts.  This menu, which was previously only available through the Windows+X keyboard shortcut, reveals handy advanced features for expert users. Want more? The Quick Launch menu now includes Shut Down and Sleep commands. Want to shut down with the fewest keystrokes, use this menu!

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