From Linux-powered warships to robot bears, the year in Ars Tech Lab

The default Windows 8.1 Start screen. Microsoft revived the Start Button on the desktop in October, to the relief of many.

The last twelve months have seen some major upheavals in the technology world that few would have predicted last year. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announcing he would be resigning as CEO (on the heels of Microsoft’s acquisition of Nokia), the utter disaster that was the launch of Blackberry’s new operating system, and fallout in the tech world over the National Security Agency’s broad surveillance programs are among the most obvious.

But as important as those developments were to the IT world, the stories that had the most resonance with Ars readers were the ones about technology actually doing what it was supposed to do, or about the technology industry giving the people what they wanted. At the top of that list was the return of the Windows Start button.

One Microsoft way?

When Windows 8 was released in October of 2012, it received mixed reviews, with Ars Microsoft Editor Peter Bright calling it “a study in compromises.” People tend to fear change, and lots of folks were still hungry for ways to make the new operating system work more like Windows 7. So when we got an early look at the revised “Windows Blue” interface for the first major revision of Windows 8—and the return of the Start button—it was a hint that Microsoft had listened to the most frequent complaint about the usability of the Windows 8 interface.

Read 12 remaining paragraphs | Comments

via Ars Technica

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