A key goal of the update is to appease traditional Windows users, confused by the tile-based interface Microsoft introduced in Windows 8.
"If I was to put it in coffee terms, 'Why don't you go and refine the blend here?'. Let's remix the desktop and your modern application experience. Let's balance them better," said Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, summing up user feedback.
So the Start button returns in Windows 8.1 along with easier ways to find and access applications. Windows 8.1 also sports a much-improved search function.