Microsoft is bringing the Start back to Windows with the introduction of Windows 8.1, a free update that will ship to the masses on October 18th. Unfortunately, the Start menu isn't making the return trip, though at least you'll be able to switch between the Desktop and Windows 8.1 Start screen with the click or tap of a button, as Microsoft demonstrates in a new 30-second ad.
There's actually a lot to like in Windows 8.1, some of which Microsoft shows off in its short commercial. For one, you can resize tiles to your liking, making the "important things big" like that photo of Fido, and "keep the small stuff small," such as the Calculator icon that will come in handy once in a while.
One of the best new features of Windows 8.1 is the ability to multitask from the Start screen. You'll be able to have multiple applications open and running on the Start screen at the same time rather than have a single program dominate the entire screen.
Microsoft isn't just pitching new features, but also the cross-platform approach it's taken with Windows 8/8.1. If you can navigate Windows 8/8.1 on your laptop or desktop, then you'll have no trouble doing the same on a tablet or Surface device.