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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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Perception is 90% of reality
By cyberguyz on 4/17/2013 7:00:59 AM , Rating: 2
If you walk down the street and see a paper bag covered in excrement, what would you think that bag contained? Would you expect it to contain gold coins? Would you really want to pick it up and see?

Windows 8 has been perceived to be targeted at tablet and cell phone users by most. The reality of that perception has led Windows 8 to poor sales as those that primarily use desktop systems do not see it as a viable solution for desktop use. I can state confidently that my employer is not even considering Windows 8 as its corporate Wintel platform. An awful lot of people work for my employer, many of whom use more than a single computer on their desk or home office.

Microsoft's removal of the start button, the insistence of using the start screen and the jarring transitions between classic desktop multitasking and 'Microsoft Apps' task switching has done nothing but add fuel to this perception/reality regarding Microsoft's Windows 8 target audience.

The ability to restore a start button and boot straight to the desktop have been available for Windows 8 since the day of its release. I've used them and they do work very well. So Microsoft's move in Windows 8.1 to restore these is really not a big deal.

Here is my perception and thus my 90% reality when it comes to Windows 8.

When the Aero desktop theme, gently rounded and graduated graphics was introduced with Windows Vista, I was amazed and overjoyed when they were carried over (with optimizations) to Windows 7. it gave the operating system a feel of quality and frankly made want to use it.

Windows 8, they replaced this amazing user experience with a flat, squared, non-graduated graphic system that is supposed to look like the primitive graphics used in web programming libraries. I was never a big fan of the look web GUI libraries and even less of a fan at seeing this kind of graphic mentality being carried into the Windows desktop. I am sorry Microsoft, but while your graphics designers may be big fans of this sanitizing and cleanup of your graphics, I am not. To me this is the bag covered in poo tha may or may not be hiding a handful of gold coins.

I may be missing the gold (your under-the-covers enhancements), but being so butt-ugly, I am not interested in Windows 8 up and peeking inside it.

"It looks like the iPhone 4 might be their Vista, and I'm okay with that." -- Microsoft COO Kevin Turner

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