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Microsoft backing off Metro, plans boot-to-desktop mode for Windows 8.1

post #1 of 61
Thread Starter 
In an apparent attempt to have its latest operating system better appeal to business customers, Microsoft reportedly plans to add a "boot to desktop" mode to its Windows 8.1 update, allowing users to bypass the Metro Start Screen.

In current test builds of Windows 8.1, codenamed Windows Blue, the operating system includes an option to boot directly to the traditional Windows desktop, sources familiar with the company's plans indicated to The Verge. That's a major change from the current version of Windows 8, which automatically boots to the new Start Screen which features the tiled "Metro" user interface.

Windows 8
Windows 8 currently boots to the new Start Screen, seen above, requiring an extra step to reach the desktop.


The new Start Screen has been criticized by PC users who feel the interface is not ideal with a traditional keyboard and mouse setup. Some believe the Metro user interface is better suited for touchscreen devices, like tablets and phones.

While Microsoft reportedly plans to make the desktop view a default option when booting a system, the company is said to be keeping the invisible "hot corners" it introduced with Windows 8. That function allows users to bring up the operating system's "Charms" or the Metro Start Screen by touching or dragging their PC mouse to the corner of the screen.

Windows 8 launched last fall with a great deal of hype from the Redmond, Wash., company, which claimed the new operating system was a revolutionary upgrade from its predecessor, Windows 7. But Windows 8 got off to a soft start, and failed to turn around sales in the sagging PC hardware market.

Continuing woes in the PC market have been generally blamed on the popularity of Apple's iPad, which reached a new, lower entry price of $329 last fall with the debut of the iPad mini. In comparison, many new touchscreen Ultrabooks running Windows 8 cost over a thousand dollars.

The struggles seen by PC makers have led market watchers to predict that the industry could see a major shakeup in the coming years. Some believe that remaining companies could merge, leading to fewer options, while others see gross margins shrinking in an effort to cut prices and boost sales.
post #2 of 61
Microsoft. Ugh.
post #3 of 61

Attaboy.

/s
 

post #4 of 61
That would be a good first start. After months of using Windows 8 here at the office for testing, I pretty much gave up on it. It's just not enterprise ready. It's fine for running on touch-devices, but on workstations the Metro interface just gets in the way.

Microsoft really screwed themselves on this.
post #5 of 61

"8.1?! But but but but service packs! What happened to those? No "version numbers", because then we can't mock Apple users for "paying for service packs!"

 

No work could be done to improve Windows 8 at this point. Release an update that boots you to a screen that says "We're sorry." There's nothing else; the entire OS has been erased, and there's a link to store.apple.com at the bottom.

 

Oh, I figured out how to keep my display at 2560x1440 when booting into Windows 8! I just can't boot into OS X between Windows boots.

 

Yep.

 

And trying to manually set resolution in the Registry doesn't work because I don't have the folder that "everyone has, you idiot". Funny.

post #6 of 61
It's official.

Metro is a fail.

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post #7 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

"8.1?! But but but but service packs! What happened to those? No "version numbers", because then we can't mock Apple users for "paying for service packs!"

No work could be done to improve Windows 8 at this point. Release an update that boots you to a screen that says "We're sorry." There's nothing else; the entire OS has been erased, and there's a link to store.apple.com at the bottom.

Oh, I figured out how to keep my display at 2560x1440 when booting into Windows 8! I just can't boot into OS X between Windows boots.

Yep.

And trying to manually set resolution in the Registry doesn't work because I don't have the folder that "everyone has, you idiot". Funny.

Boot to a map of the nearest Apple Store. 1wink.gif
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post #8 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTR View Post

It's official.

Metro is a fail.

I am in shock! /s
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post #9 of 61

From the looks of it, Windows 8.1 will simply be Windows 7 without Metro--so why even upgrade change?

post #10 of 61
Ooh I think I need Windows 8 so I can get hot corners. Wait, I have had that for at least 4 or 5 years on my Mac. I'm good.
post #11 of 61

NOOOO!  At least, I thought, Windows invented something like Metro style (Tiles and all), unlike Android copied wholesale.  

But, its a fail. 

post #12 of 61

Metro failed on zune.  Next the geniuses at Microsoft put it on a cell phone. guess what?  Windows Phone is a total failure.  Hey, i got a great idea.  Let's put the interface which has failed on two products on yet a third.  Guess, what?  the horrid, unusable Metro interface failed on even the illegally created Windows monopoly.  Too funny!

post #13 of 61
Good news for anyone planning a HTPC on Windows8 ( www.team-mediaportal.com ). You don't want a menu/login on a machine that has it's keyboard in a closet 15ft away ;-). So 3rd party tweaking tools were a must from day 1 on a windows8 living room machine. (Yes, I know there is Linux, but where I live, online movies are in their britches and recording TV is still a main function of a HTPC)
post #14 of 61
OK, this change is fine for now, but on TOUCH devices, which are the future, they need to go whole-hog Metro, including a unique identity (if not Metro then some other name). And they need to do it yesterday.
post #15 of 61
I so enjoy watching Windows users struggeling on their Windows 8 machines for days just to have it reformatted and installing Windows 7 and finally admitting that they should have listened and bought a Mac. It warms my heart.
post #16 of 61
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post
Boot to a map of the nearest Apple Store. 1wink.gif

 

Ah, but it's a Bing Maps applet, so they'd get lost. 1wink.gif

post #17 of 61
It's amazing that nobody at MS realized until now that putting a tablet interface on a desktop computer was a bad idea.

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post #18 of 61
BWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHA *breath* HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHHA *cough*cough* HAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHA

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post #19 of 61

Metro might go.. but guess who is staying.... Ballmer.

post #20 of 61
What they really need is a boot to Windows 7 or boot to the curve would work as well.
post #21 of 61
Originally Posted by dcolley View Post
…boot to the curve would work as well.

 

I thought it was "curb".

 

Dang it, Ballmer, you can't do anything right!

post #22 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by jd_in_sb View Post

It's amazing that nobody at MS realized until now that putting a tablet interface on a desktop computer was a bad idea.

Then making it non-Windowed but still calling it Windows.

It's such a mess. It takes an excessive number of steps (I think around a dozen) to just change the orientation of the display. You have to go back into the old UI to do it. It's horrible.

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post #23 of 61

Microsoft is a victim of its own success.

It can't get out of its own way, and now it can't even do mimicry properly.

Metro should have been a wholly new touch-enabled lightweight OS.

Windows 8 should have been the one to embrace the new (Thunderbolt), drop all the legacy connectors and lose 100,000 lines of code.

 

That would have shoved the PC market into the future. But it didn't happen, Steve knew it wouldn't happen and that's why the post-PC world creeps closer every day.

post #24 of 61

Ballmer should do the following if he wants to be relevant in 10 years

 

1) Give away phone and tablet OS for free to all vendors.  Make it open source even.  Short of that it is never getting traction.  They gave away IE and even that failed in the end.  Now if they even want a chance they have to give away the OS

 

2) Break up the company.  Today there should have been an iOS Office app.  Only reason there was not is because Ballmer the moron did not want to reduce any leverage to force people to buy a windows OS product.  Windows OS is over

 

3) Near term drop the desktop price to $15/year subscription.  At this price they can slow the bleed. Eventually it has to go to zero too.

 

Eventually they will make money on Xbox, office, SQL, maybe some online initiatives too.  If they stay on the current course they are ensuring a complete epic failure and loss in phone/tablet and eventual loss on the desktop too.  Chrome and Ubuntu coming on strong.  Free is a hard thing to pass up when the product does what you need it to do.  These are now free viable alternatives.  You are watching Ballmer in a slow motion train wreck.  The only good tailwind he has these days is Tim Cook at the helm of Apple.  With Jobs he did not have a chance.  With Cook though the odds may ever be in his favor....

post #25 of 61
I use a Windows 8 laptop sometimes and I don't mind Metro too much. But what I do mind is that I had to Google how to shut down and restart the damned computer - unbelievably, you have to go into the Settings to do this. It's absurd. There's a semi-hack you can install that lets you create buttons for these things, but why is that even necessary? (Plus, this method creates a button that shuts you down instantly, without asking if you're sure - you're out of luck if you hit it accidentally.) It should just be there on the screen!
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post #26 of 61
Originally Posted by tetzel1517 View Post
But what I do mind is that I had to Google how to shut down and restart the damned computer…

 

Uh, what? Top or bottom right corner of the screen. There's a button RIGHT THERE on the overlay that comes up.

 

Settings?

post #27 of 61

Stevo's greatest contribution to tech was corralling nerdy programmers into stop making and bringing to market crappy sw and instead, make excellent sw. 

 

It just isn't in MS' DNA to do good quality work...never mind great work. Ugh! It's their DOS roots still at work! 

 

 

P.S. I'm not a programmer but I was so impressed with what Apple did with SL. Now that was a real effort to make the OS better. MS just sucks dead goats. :)


Edited by christopher126 - 4/16/13 at 3:16pm
post #28 of 61

Apple have also been moving elements of their touch GUI in to their desktop OS don't forget. They have just been a bit more selective about it. In fact Launchpad is kind of a "start screen."

post #29 of 61
What is this - a collective mushroom day at AI forums?

8.1 will have an option to boot to desktop directly, but default will be Modern Start Screen.

Even if you select to boot to desktop, you will still have access to Start Screen and Charms.

This is still Windows 8; only difference regarding desktop/Modern is that you will not need any of already available 3rd party "desktop-boot" options - this functionality will be included. Can't really figure out why most around here should care at all, but either way - get over it. Modern is here to stay, for (subjectively) good or bad.
post #30 of 61
Originally Posted by nikon133 View Post
Modern is here to stay, for (subjectively) good or bad.

 

Objectively bad. And I love that.

post #31 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by jd_in_sb View Post

It's amazing that nobody at MS realized until now that putting a tablet interface on a desktop computer was a bad idea.

Then making it non-Windowed but still calling it Windows.

It's such a mess. It takes an excessive number of steps (I think around a dozen) to just change the orientation of the display. You have to go back into the old UI to do it. It's horrible.

So, what will happen to the "Win...", er, ah... "Tiles Everywhere" mantra?
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post #32 of 61
How can someone stand to look at this shit?

post #33 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

How can someone stand to look at this shit?


It's apparently ideal for the chair throwing demographic.

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post #34 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

How can someone stand to look at this shit?

 

The best thing is how Microsoft apologists defend the shit out of this, when not long ago they kept trolling and bashing Apple for "iOS-ifying" their desktop, making it "for babies" simply because they added a couple optional iOS features like launchpad, notification center, etc (which all work quite well), But as soon as Microsoft brought them massive colored tiles on the desktop, they just guzzled it right up, foamed at how "innovative it was", without the slightest sense of irony. 

post #35 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by tetzel1517 View Post

I use a Windows 8 laptop sometimes and I don't mind Metro too much. But what I do mind is that I had to Google how to shut down and restart the damned computer - unbelievably, you have to go into the Settings to do this. It's absurd. There's a semi-hack you can install that lets you create buttons for these things, but why is that even necessary? (Plus, this method creates a button that shuts you down instantly, without asking if you're sure - you're out of luck if you hit it accidentally.) It should just be there on the screen!

 

How is this unbelievable? Have you tried to actually do something with Microsoft Office and that Ribbon UI? I finally realized that you're supposed to take training courses to use Microsoft products. It's not supposed to be intuitive. PCs are supposed to make you feel stupid.

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post #36 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by igriv View Post

 

Does anyone actually use the Launchpad? (not a rhetorical question, I am curious).

 

Yes, I do.

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post #37 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by nikon133 View Post

What is this - a collective mushroom day at AI forums?

8.1 will have an option to boot to desktop directly, but default will be Modern Start Screen.

Even if you select to boot to desktop, you will still have access to Start Screen and Charms.

This is still Windows 8; only difference regarding desktop/Modern is that you will not need any of already available 3rd party "desktop-boot" options - this functionality will be included. Can't really figure out why most around here should care at all, but either way - get over it. Modern is here to stay, for (subjectively) good or bad.

 

Whew. For a moment, I thought Microsoft had come to their senses.

I am relieved to hear that they are still heading in the wrong direction with regard to the Windows UI. If they had brought back the Start Menu (as opposed to simply booting to the desktop), I might have thought they were backpedaling on Metro, but I am pleased to hear that they still want to pursue this strategy of making Windows annoying for non-tablet, non-touchscreen users.

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post #38 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by igriv View Post

Does anyone actually use the Launchpad? (not a rhetorical question, I am curious).

 

Do I use the what now?

 

In other words, no.

post #39 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by majjo View Post

Much better task and resource monitor, more detailed file copy dialog, much improved multi-monitor support, native USB 3.0 and ISO mounting, a much better backup system, and hybrid hibernation mode (though honestly I upgraded SSDs when I moved to win8, and that probably has more to do with my improved boot times than the new hibernation mode). There are others that I can't remember off the top of my head right now, but those are the ones that make win7 feel dated.

That seriously sounds like the boilerplate response we got from our Fujitsu sales guy who wanted us to take windows 8 on a 50 desktop order. We laughed soooo hard in his face, Not one of those reasons is good enough to move from windows 7. And don't even mention windows server 2012 jeeesus...
post #40 of 61
So far, so good. Now we just need the Start button back...
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