Microsoft is just days away from releasing its Windows 8.1 preview, complete with the return of the Start button. The software maker has started to distribute final preview copies of Windows Server 2012 R2, which includes the same Start button return as the Windows 8.1 preview. While Microsoft has downplayed its return, it seems it will be more useful when combined with some additional navigation controls.
Right clicking on the Start button in Windows 8.1 will provide the usual power users menu, but it now has the option to shut down or restart the operating system. For years the Start button and Menu has acted as the primary way to shutdown Windows, so powers users will likely welcome its slight return. Additional navigation options also include the ability to disable the upper-right hot corner for access to the Charms, the upper-left area, and the ability to boot to the desktop instead of the Start screen when you initially sign-in.
Although Windows Server 2012 R2 preview is available to download now, Microsoft will release the client Windows 8.1 preview on June 26th as it kicks off its Build developer conference in San Francisco. The software giant is expected to demonstrate some of the new applications built specifically for Windows 8.1, alongside a focus on developers and the environment for them to build Xbox One applications. The Verge will have full coverage from Build, so stay tuned for more over the coming days.