The Start button will return when Windows 8.1 hits later this year, according to sources familiar with Microsoft plans. Speaking to The Verge, sources claim the button's return will allow users to access the Start Screen, though it won't include the traditional Start Menu. "The button is said to look near-identical to the existing Windows flag used in the Charm Bar," The Verge wrote.

The wider consumer response to Windows 8 hasn't been overly positive, so the return of some familiar elements will certainly be welcome. A recently leaked build of the 8.1 update revealed there will be a boot to desktop option, showing greater focus on the traditional computing environment, and not so much on touch-only input.

When Microsoft axed the Start button back when Windows 8 hit, the company said it was a result of information from its Customer Experience Improvement Program. Well, customer feedback seems to dictate that its absence is missed much more than anticipated. A Preview is expected before the final 8.1 release is out, so we'll have to see if indeed the Start button is back in full effect.

Image is an artist concept and not an actual screenshot.