According to The Verge, sources familiar with Microsoft's plans have revealed that Windows 8.1 will herald the return of the Start button. This move would take away some of the confusion which long standing Windows users have experienced with the latest OS. See also: Windows 8 takes blame for 'brutal' PC sales slide.
However, the new Start button will simply be a way of accessing the Start Screen with its Modern UI tiles. Therefore, it will not include the familiar Start menu for finding and launching programs.
It will effectively be a repeat of the button which is already found in the Windows 8 Charms bar. It will even look the same with the latest square Windows flag design used for Windows 8. See also: Laptop makers turn to Android after Windows 8 woes.
Although Microsoft justified the removal of the Start button with data from its Customer Experience Improvement Program, the reinstatement is due to customer feedback.
The Start button has been so sorely missed that Pokki for Windows, a replacement Start button, has been downloaded more than 1.5 million times. The firm says users open the Pokki Menu an average of 10 times each day.
The news comes after reports that Microsoft will add a 'boot to desktop' option in Windows 8.1. This will allow users to avoid booting to the Modern UI interface, which is less useful on a traditional desktop PC.
It's possible the Start button will appear in the Windows 8.1 Public Preview, if not, the final release which is set to arrive later this year.