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

Posted:
in macOS edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 72
    jkichlinejkichline Posts: 1,336member
    Microsoft. Ugh.
  • Reply 2 of 72


    Attaboy.


    /s

     

  • Reply 3 of 72
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,652member
    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.
  • Reply 4 of 72
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    "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.

  • Reply 5 of 72
    gtrgtr Posts: 3,231member
  • Reply 6 of 72
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,293member
    "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. ;)
  • Reply 7 of 72
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,293member
    gtr wrote: »
    It's official.

    Metro is a fail.

    I am in shock! /s
  • Reply 8 of 72
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,046member


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

  • Reply 9 of 72
    genovellegenovelle Posts: 967member
    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.
  • Reply 10 of 72
    chandra69chandra69 Posts: 638member


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


    But, its a fail. 

  • Reply 11 of 72
    bullheadbullhead Posts: 493member


    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!

  • Reply 12 of 72
    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)
  • Reply 13 of 72
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    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.
  • Reply 14 of 72
    jacodbjacodb Posts: 23member
    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.
  • Reply 15 of 72


    Taking the toaster out of the fridge

  • Reply 16 of 72
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

    Boot to a map of the nearest Apple Store. image


     


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

  • Reply 17 of 72
    majjomajjo Posts: 574member
    sualfons wrote: »
    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)

    Don't see what the issue is. I can easily log in and launch wmc with my remote. All I have to do is press enter on the lock screen, enter my 4 digit pin with the number pad on the remote, press enter 2 times to log in and launch wmc.

    I've been using win 8 since release (cost me $15 to upgrade, so why not) and at this point, I wouldn't dream of going back to win 7; the improvements vastly outweigh the inconvenience of an additional click to get to a few items.

    Now granted, I'm not a tech retard and can actually learn to use something new instead of whine about it, but I think Microsoft did a pretty good job with win 8. There are still some rough corners they need to polish, but overall, it is the best version of windows I've ever used, and I would even say it is the best consumer level OS thus far.
  • Reply 18 of 72
    jd_in_sbjd_in_sb Posts: 1,484member
    It's amazing that nobody at MS realized until now that putting a tablet interface on a desktop computer was a bad idea.
  • Reply 19 of 72
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    BWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHA *breath* HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHHA *cough*cough* HAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHA
  • Reply 20 of 72
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,157member


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

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