Print 37 comment(s) - last by cfaalm.. on Apr 19 at 5:06 PM

Microsoft gets back to its desktop roots

The upcoming Windows 8.1 (code-named "Windows Blue") is rumored to be preparing to win back critics of Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFTMetro user interface by reportedly allowing them to skip Metro and boot directly to desktop.

The new option was first spotted as a registry entry dubbed "CanSuppressStartScreen" in a leaked build.  That build lacked a UI element to enable the user to trivially disable Metro, but reportedly such an option will be added to the control panel.

Reportedly hot corner functionality for access to Charms or the (Metro) Start Screen will remain active, even if you set it to boot to desktop, so those on the fence can always still poke around in Metro when they get the urge.  By default, Windows 8.1 will reportedly boot to the Metro Start Screen unless a user tells it otherwise.

And ZDNet's chief Windows expert Mary Jo Foley says her sources indicate a Start Button may be making comeback to the desktop, contradicting previous rumors that it would stay dead:

Perhaps Microsoft is caving to the criticism?

Windows 7 Start Button
The start button may return in Windows 8.1.
Windows 8 has been a bit of letdown for Microsoft after the record-shattering success of Windows 7.  Fans blasted Microsoft from over-innovating saying it should have stuck with the same "old-fashioned" desktop model that had long drew it derision and mocking from Apple, Inc. (AAPL) users.

So far Microsoft's license shipments to OEMs have been decent, but Windows 8 has struggled in end-sales.  Worse, some customers are opting for a downgrade, much like they did with Windows Vista.  Microsoft has also struggled on the profit front with the new OS.

The struggles have triggered a leadership change, with the departure of Windows President Steven Sinofsky.  They also prompted Microsoft to switch to a shorter cycle of OS releases, similar to Apple.  The first result of that shift will be seen in Windows 8.1's release this fall.

Source: My Digital Life Forum

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RE: Mixed Feelings
By 91TTZ on 4/16/2013 4:45:22 PM , Rating: 4
I'm okay with them bringing back a button to launch the start screen for people who are too dumb to click in the corner or use the start button on the keyboard like most adept users, but if they bring back the start menu it will be a sad day for progression.

How is additional choice a bad thing? People like myself want the Start Button. It's not that I couldn't learn how to use the new method; in fact I learned two things: 1) I learned the new method and I learned that the new method isn't as efficient as the old method when using a mouse/keyboard.

I think that you're confusing "progression" with "change". Sure, they changed it, but most consumers don't find it to be progress.

RE: Mixed Feelings
By crispbp04 on 4/16/13, Rating: 0
RE: Mixed Feelings
By croc on 4/17/2013 12:25:56 AM , Rating: 2
I'd imagine that a lot of people would be rather upset if GM or Ford decided to move the shift lever up to the roof. It is just as easy to use, right? So what's the problem?

Change for change's sake is not often a good option. You are correct in that MS developed the start button / menu over a 18 year (or so) period. You might say that it evolved. And the users evolved with it. Then MS decided it was all well and good to 'disrupt' their desktop users, drag them kicking and screaming into the tablet world of the future. It seems that they somehow forgot to actually ask their user base if they minded. Now, after the fact, they have found out that indeed their user base DOES mind. They REALLY mind. Just like the user base minded when it came to how Vista utilized memory.

The real user base, the base that MS cannot afford to piss off, is the business users. I see a looooonnngg support timeline ahead for Win 7.

Vista wasn't so bad, was it? Enjoy.

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