Microsoft is bringing back the Start button in Windows 8.1. Mary Jo Foleyof ZDNet first reported the coming return of the button, and Tom Warrenof the Verge today confirmed it. According to Tom, the returning Start button will in fact send users directly to the Start Screen.
Thus, its reemergence is meaningless.
The Start button once led to the Start Menu, which was an entity in and of itself, with search, shortcuts, and an app list. Microsoft has built new tools to deliver those services, and is sharpening them in Windows Blue, the funner name of Windows 8.1. Thus Microsoft is bringing the Start button back in name only, as its functionality has been stripped and handed to Charms and the Start Screen.
A good question.. Why bother with the start button at all if it just loads the start screen?