Nadella's Microsoft: Headed in the Right Direction?

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- New CEO Satya Nadella took to the stage at  Microsoft's ( MSFT) "Build" Developer Conference on Wednesday in San Francisco for the first time, and asked the crowd to stick with his company. He told them good things were on the way. Judging by what was announced, it looks like Microsoft could be headed in the right direction.

Microsoft shares were losing nearly 1% to $40.95 in early New York trading on Thursday.

Beginning on April 8, Microsoft will begin rolling out a free refresh for its desktop/laptop/tablet operating system software called Windows 8.1 Update (it had been codenamed Windows Blue). In reaction to millions of complaints, the company is adding a number of new features to make Windows easier for fans of keyboards and mice. At the same time it will also maintain what Microsoft believes are the benefits of the Windows 8 touchscreen interface.

The biggest news is the return of the old Windows "Start" menu. Based on the demonstration, the new Start button will provide users with a pop-up version of the popular menu as it looked in Windows 7 but now also featuring miniature "live tiles" along the side. Similar start buttons will soon be found on Microsoft device screens of all sizes.

The new version of Windows 8.1 will also allow applications to once again run inside separate windows, the reason Microsoft called its OS Windows nearly 20 years ago. Both of these additions will be added in yet another update promised for later this year.

All Windows products -- from PCs to tablets to smartphones -- will take advantage of an improved Internet Explorer 11. The upgrade for the Web browser was announced but few details were shared.

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