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First Windows 8.1 ad features the return of the Start button

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Windows 8.1 start button ad
Windows 8.1 start button ad

The removal of the Windows 8 Start button last year turned out to be a hot-button issue for users of Microsoft's latest operating system. Following a range of feedback from customers, Microsoft is now preparing to release Windows 8.1 on October 18th with a Start button. The latest OS update also includes optional changes to boot to desktop and disable hot corners, but the Start button is a permanent addition that users can not switch off.

Ad also highlights boot to desktop

Microsoft is choosing to highlight the button return in a new Windows 8.1 ad. After launching a "Windows Everywhere" campaign back in June, the latest Windows 8.1 ad follows a similar pattern. It highlights the ability to start up to the desktop (boot to desktop) and "hit the start button to flip back and forth" between the desktop and "Metro" Start Screen. Similarly, it also ends by featuring a Windows tablet, PC, and Surface.

At Intel's developer forum recently, Microsoft's head of marketing, Tami Reller, revealed that the company's August activations for Windows 8 were the highest so far. Microsoft has been focusing on back to school promotions and it's gearing up for new PCs and its own Surface 2 release ahead of the holidays. After Surface and Windows tablets got off to a slow start last holiday, Microsoft has partnered up with Best Buy and some European retailers to create Windows Stores inside retail locations. The company clearly hopes the retail presence and new ads will help convince consumers to opt for a Windows tablet this fall.