Windows 8.1 can Boot to Desktop and has a Start Button

Subject: Editorial, General Tech, Systems | May 29, 2013 - 07:16 PM |
Tagged: windows blue, Windows 8.1, windows, microsoft

Personally, I really cannot care too much about the user experience quirks inherent to Windows modernization; the wedge slowly being shoved between the user and their machine is far too concerning. No matter how they modify the interface, restricting what users and developers can install and create on their machine is a deal breaker. But, after that obligatory preface reminding people not to get wound up in UX hiccups and be complacent to the big issues, Windows Blue will certainly address many of those UX hiccups.

As we reported, last month, boot-to-desktop and the Start Button were planned for inclusion with Windows 8.1. Then, the sources were relentless to emphasize: "Until it ships, anything can change."

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Images courtesy, Paul Thurrott.

Mary Jo Foley gathered quite a few details since then. Firstly, the option (as in, disabled by default) to boot directly to desktop will be there; from the sounds of it, it looks like it will be disabled by default but not exclusive to Enterprise SKUs. This is somewhat promising, as it would be slightly less likely for Microsoft to kill support for the desktop (and, by extension, x86 applications) if they feel pressure to punctuate it. Still, assuming because "it makes sense" is a bad way to conduct business.

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Also available (albeit, enabled by default) is the Start Button, seen in higher quality above. This will be, as far as we know, enabled by default. Its functionality will be to bring up the Start Screen or, alternatively, a new All Apps screen visible at ZDNet. Now this has me interested: while I actually like the Start Screen, a list of apps should provide functionality much closer to the Start Menu than Microsoft was previously comfortable with. Previously, the Start Screen attempted to make the desktop applications feel less comfortable than modern apps; this interface appears like it would feel more comfortable to the desktop. While probably still jarring, it looks to make finding desktop applications easier and quickly gets out of the way of your desktop experience.

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According to Paul Thurrott, for those who wish to personalize the Start Screen, you will have the option to share your desktop wallpaper with the it. For tasteful backgrounds, like the one above, I can see this being of good use.

Just please, do not grief someone with a background full of fake tiles.

As a final note, there is still no word about multiple monitor support for "Modern Apps". If you have tried to use them in the past, you know what I am talking about: basically only one at a time, it will jump between monitors if you bring up the Start Screen, and so forth.

May 29, 2013 | 07:38 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Oh Yes, just as was predicted, a start button to nowhere but the Metro start screen, just the tiles are smaller! Oh! MonkeyBoy Ballmer, up to his old monkey shines, again! extend the wretched hand of deceit, embrace the false sense of security, and extinguish all home of an open garden as the gate slams shut, and the user is trapped in the closed garden of M$ TIFKAM delites! You'll get your start button, and your TIFKAM too! Oh not for me, the malignant tumor, that is the TIFKAM framework, must be removed, no bi-modal Hell for me, My third party OEM PC/laptop is not part of the M$ ecosystem, it is my computer, and the OS will serve me, and not the dark lord, BeezelBallm!

May 29, 2013 | 07:39 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Edit [Home] to HOPE!

May 29, 2013 | 08:02 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Just because it looks like a Start Button and Microsoft says it's a Start Button does not make it one. Give us the full Start MENU back Microsoft. Didn't your mothers teach you that if you're going to do something half-assed you're better off not doing it at all.


May 29, 2013 | 08:24 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Give us windows 7, on our new hardware, and not Metro! Trying to slip the Metro framework in, under the RADAR, is not going to cut it! PC laptops and desktops, are not tablets or phones, stop trying to use our independently manufactured PCs/LAPTOPS as M$ property! Our computers are not a preschool playground sandbox, for an added source of revenue for you M$! No PC/Laptop owner wants an App Store, stapled onto the front end of their OS, they want and need full function desktop applications, that already exist, and not the stripped down duplications, that need to be repurchased, from you crappy app store! You can leave your app store to the fools that buy your Branded Phones and Tablets!

May 29, 2013 | 08:50 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Linux, nuf said!

July 15, 2013 | 12:41 AM - Posted by Williams (not verified)

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May 29, 2013 | 09:38 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

metro is here to stay, so shut up.

remember when XP came out and everyone freaked cause the start menu changed................................ well its just changed again, so i guess everyones just gota get this outa their system.

May 29, 2013 | 11:20 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

MonkeyBoy, is that you? You Know that TIFKAM is a monopolistic land grab, on hardware that M$ does not even brand! I did NOT, and will NOT, buy into a M$ encroachment of my third party hardware PC/Laptop! This is not a simple UI change, TIFKAM is a useless duplication of runtime resources, its one and only one goal, is to make M$ GigaBucks, a few Dollars at a time, selling the suckers apps that already exist, and have existed for the desktop! TIFKAM is a M$ TIFSCAM! Get your self and your M$ Smudge screen, kiosk, App Store UI, Out of my face!

May 29, 2013 | 11:41 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Why don't put away your Apple iToys, boy~

Windows 8 is very smooth.

Angry Ballmer.

May 30, 2013 | 12:03 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

No Apple for me, and No windows 8, 8.1, 8..., on my computers, it is 7, then on to Linux! and You Angry(MonkeyBoy) Ballmer, Bite down hard, on your silk covered pillow, at night, hunched over in a fetal position, and kick your feet, like a fustrated anime tsundere school girl, and lust over Apple's closed ecosystem riches! Oh how you moan! And as you lay there, in agony, Steve Jobs' ghost appears, and giggles sardonically!

May 29, 2013 | 11:51 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Comparing Metro to Windows XP's visual facelift and minor changes to an existing system (Start Menu vs Start Screen) isn't there. Trying to make a comparison is just asking to get slapped until the stupidity leaves ones mind.

May 30, 2013 | 12:40 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I want that wallpaper. Is it a part of Windows 8.1?

May 30, 2013 | 12:53 AM - Posted by Scott Michaud

Nope, I think it's one of Paul Thurrott's personal wallpapers.

May 30, 2013 | 08:45 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Standard shutterstock, plenty-o-pritty-photos! Oh! it is my reason to purchase windows 8, Oh I must have it, I'll take 2 copies of TIFKAM, and quadruple bill me for the functionality!

May 30, 2013 | 02:10 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Nvm, I found the image through a Tineye reverse-image search.

May 30, 2013 | 01:05 AM - Posted by Barry (not verified)

ok lets update this windows8 looks great

May 30, 2013 | 10:36 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Oh, so shiny, this 8, oh such shiny crome plated plastic!
Oh yes, let's just jump off that cliff, and splatter all over the tiled pavement, with our shiny new repackaged poo! But did I say, it looks great, and just $9.99, Per stripped down APP, that does attempt to do something like already can be done, with the desktop full function applications, we putchased not to long ago! But they are not the new shiny, so I'll take my wallet, from so close to my hiney! Oh I'll give up my money, to the M$ stash, from fools and their cash!

May 30, 2013 | 04:38 AM - Posted by doomOo7 (not verified)

I bet that most of you saying things like "No PC/Laptop owner wants an App Store" have certainly not tried convertible laptops like the asus transformer book for instance...

8 is a grace to use. And ffs, every single functionnality of the start menu is on the start screen. And don't tell me you were scrolling that ten kilometer list each time you wanted to launch an app, that is just PLAIN INEFFICIENT and I haven't been doing it since vista and the included search only by typing. I still do the same with 8, in fact I hadn't to change any of my habits except that now I can also use tactile apps, which with a pen are a joy to use to take notes for courses for instance, or just to sketch things, etc...

May 30, 2013 | 08:34 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Doom-o-7, but not for a few years for 7, and by that time, I am sure many, many enterprises, and people, will have migrated to Linux, what is PLAIN INEFFICIENT, and JUST PLAIN COSTLY, is M$ windows 8 METRO, on the full function PC/Laptop! What is in the dictionary definition of INEFFICIENT, is an unnessary duplication of the pre-existing functionality, that can be had, at no extra cost, in retraining or purchasing with existing windows 7 applications, and TIFKAM fits the bill as INEFFICIENT ! Oh yes, let's play Cellphone, Tablet simulator, on our desktop, and purchase this unneeded, alreday existing in the standard desktop fully functional application reserve, TIFKAM double billing game!

May 30, 2013 | 08:42 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

You speak about convertible laptops (tablets with keyboards).
While I admit that the start screen may meet some (and not all) of the uses that were there with the start menu, Microsoft's move to force the use of their OS on desktop PCs which has less features when it's designed for tablets (only the blind and half-witted will deny it) is not a good move.

Remember when users had a choice? When I buy a piece of hardware, I expect to use it as I want to and not according to what a software manufacturer limits me to.

That policy resembles that of Apple that led me and others to simply boycott all of their products. Thus, I think we will see many users and companies shift to other OSes, especially when the rumor about Linux not being reliable has proven wrong, to some extent (the remaining problem comes from hardware manufacturers not putting much effort into Linux compatibility and expect you to use this or that OS because they are lazy).

June 20, 2013 | 09:08 PM - Posted by doomOo7 (not verified)

"Microsoft's move to force the use of their OS on desktop PCs which has less features when it's designed for tablets (only the blind and half-witted will deny it) is not a good move."

Could you tell me what you can't do with 8 that you could with 7 ?
The only thing that REALLY pissed me off so far was the obligation to connect to the internet the first time you run VS2012, because I was in a 10 hour plane trip where I had a project involving MS techs when I discovered it.

And, speaking of rights, I have a Debian up and running on my computer, so I don't really see in what my rights are diminished...

May 30, 2013 | 12:47 PM - Posted by Scott Michaud

An app store is fine, a single mandated app store with certification requirements is not.

If you wish to share a small application with, for instance, your (boy/girl)friend: you can't. You need to get Microsoft to certify it... unless it runs in Internet Explorer (Windows RT) or your default internet browser (Windows 8). This puts it against the whole list of ever-changing certification requirements... maybe certification fees in the future (Xbox Arcade cert fees can be more expensive than most new cars)... etc.

June 2, 2013 | 09:11 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

We now Know were M$ got its inspiration, and programmers from, for the Windows 8 TIFKAM UI, it was from the Atari's E.T.

And Yes, TIFKAM is more irritating, and madness inducing than Atari's E.T. could ever be!

May 30, 2013 | 10:45 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Win8 is just the beta test for Win 9.

Sorry Ballmer, I'll stick with Win 7. I don't need or want to boot into a lame app store.

May 30, 2013 | 11:35 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Looks like I'm sticking with windows 7 for the foreseeable future.

The tome still reads: "Every OTHER version of Windows sucks..."

and yes. I have installed and used windows 8.

June 2, 2013 | 08:37 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

GUYS........SPAM, for real.

and im not talking about linux leg humpers!!!!!

June 2, 2013 | 04:28 PM - Posted by Nero576 (not verified)

I hope they offer this as an optional update to Windows Server 2012; + The start button looks exactly like Stardock's Start8.

June 3, 2013 | 07:18 PM - Posted by Robert (not verified)

I'm an oddball in this regard. I got so used to Windows 8, when I installed one of the classic start menu programs I had a hard time going back to it. I uninstalled and just stayed with Metro.

I would love to see them at least give me the option of changing the icon sizes. I hate scrolling left to right to get all my programs.

(Unless I'm missing something in the settings somewhere...)

I've been happy with Windows 8 so far...but I'm wierd like that, I can understand how so many hate it. If something isn't broke, don't fix it. Windows 95 to Windows 7 GUI was just fine, I think.

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