Microsoft has restored its famous Start button after critics of the Windows 8 operating system bemoaned the fact it was missing.
A familiar looking Start button will be added to the Windows 8 operating system in its first major update, Microsoft has confirmed.
In the Windows 8.1 update, the button will always be visible in desktop mode, unlike the current version in which it only appears as a pop-up 'tip' when the mouse pointer is moved to the bottom left corner of the screen.
Microsoft had been widely criticised for abandoning the Start button in Windows 8, its most radical and daring redesign of the PC platform to date.
In a blog post, Antoine Leblond, Microsoft's senior vice president, said: "We've improved the way you navigate to Start with the mouse by changing the Start 'tip' to be the familiar Windows logo."
When a user clicks the new Start button, it launches a tile-based menu known as Metro, which has also received negative feedback.
Many users, particularly those with traditional desktop PCs, are unimpressed by Microsoft's shift towards touchscreen design.
Windows 8.1 will allow the user to boot their computer in desktop mode, removing the Metro start screen completely.
A preview download of the software update is scheduled to arrive in June, before a final version is released to the public before the end of this year. It will be free of charge to all existing users of the Windows 8 operating system.