Well this topic has had a resurgence even though it has been beat to death and we had finally started moving on. The fact is MS keeps track of how elements of Windows are used and the Start button is basically an unused item. It is a design that they can see is outdated by these stats and it was time for a change. It is not arbitrary and they do take it seriously. It also in not about forcing people to use the new Start screen and MUI. That is certainly a new element but the simple truth is most people use desktop shortcuts or pinned task bar items to do what Start was intended for. It is because Start was dying in Windows 7 that it went away not because of hidden MUI agenda. You can expect to see more from MUI but that is because it is its own new design whose time has come not because MS is trying to force you to it and intentionally trying to aggravate you by removing the Start button. It is the evolution of the idea of what the Start button represents and where Windows needs to go with touch. So long old friend I can't say you will be missed by me, I am honestly one of those who has found myself not going to the Start button since Vista. Not intentionally it just sort of worked out that way. Probably because of the use of taskbar from Vista on. Evolving the Start menu - Building Windows 8 - Site Home - MSDN Blogs Here is a snippet to get the wheels turning and get at what it really boils down to.