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Microsoft shows off future Windows 8.1 features, including new Start Menu

Microsoft's new Start Menu for Windows 8.1 includes live tiles.
Microsoft's new Start Menu for Windows 8.1 includes live tiles.

The Start Menu, an icon of the modern Windows operating system that was removed in Windows 8, will make its return soon.

The company revealed the new feature at this year's Build developer conference in San Francisco today, which will be deployed as part of patch to its Windows 8.1 operating system later this year. The conference, which caters to Windows developers, has in recent years become a platform to announce and demonstrate new products.

The new Start Menu will have a similar look and feel to previous versions of Windows with a few new functions. One of the announced planned features includes live tiles, with users able to add Windows 8 app icons and receive live updates on anything from news to weather and sports scores.

Microsoft also said that their previously announced Windows 8.1 Update, which will add important tweaks to the user interface with a focus on greater support for keyboard and mouse users. will release later this week. The company also revealed a new initiative for universal apps, which will allow programs developed for the Windows Store to work similarly desktops/laptops, tablets, the Windows Phone and Xbox One.