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Windows 8.1 Update Boots to Desktop Only on Non-Touch

By - Source: The Verge | B 45 comments

For starters, let's get something straight. Current Windows 8.1 users can already boot to the desktop. This feature isn't obvious, but once you figure out where to go, it's actually just as easy as getting slapped in the face.

To turn the feature on, go to the desktop and right-click on an open area on the taskbar. When the menu appears, click Properties and the Taskbar and Navigation properties box appears. Next click on the Navigation tab, and then check the following option listed under Start Screen (it's not checked by default). 

“When I sign in or close all apps on a screen, go to the desktop instead of Start."

A new report stemming from a near final build of Windows 8.1 Update 1 reveals that unless customers have followed the directions listed above, and they're using a screen without touch capability, then the platform will boot to the desktop by default. If the user has a touch screen and has not manually switched on the desktop boot as shown above, then the platform will boot straight into the Start screen.

The update seems to cater to the mouse and keyboard user, starting with the boot option and continuing on with a new shutdown button that will be placed on the Start screen. This button presumably only appears on laptops and desktops that do not have a touch-based screen.

According to the report, the "Metro" apps also have a new title bar that allows the user to minimize, close or snap apps using the mouse. On touch-based screens, this title bar doesn't appear by default, but will appear if the mouse pointer hovers over the top portion of an app. Tiles on the Start Screen will produce a context menu when the user right-clicks on the tile, with options including resize, unpin and so on.

As previously reported, "Metro" apps can be pinned to the desktop taskbar, which will have preview windows, if the user has selected to "show Windows Store apps on the taskbar." Within an app, users can hover the mouse point over the lower part to bring up the taskbar, which will appear over the Metro app. This allows the user to move between apps rather than swiping on the screen or touchpad.

Finally, there's a new "disk space" option in the settings that lists individual app sizes, and collates file sizes for media such as music, pictures and videos.

Microsoft is currently expected to dish out Windows 8.1 Update 1 either shortly before or shortly after its BUILD conference in April.

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Top Comments
  • 29 Hide
    Morbus , February 8, 2014 4:20 AM
    What Microsoft needs to be doing is REMOVE all metro from not touch devices. REMOVE it completely. I don't want to see anything metro on a 1440p 27 inch screen. It's a complete waste of time. Do AWAY with the metro-style network selector, do AWAY with the metro-style start menu, do AWAY with any metro-style control panel, AWAY with the metro-style windows store, AWAY with the metro-style software selector (for unknown file types), AWAY with the purple, AWAY with the metro-style login screen, AWAY with the useless BSOD, AWAY with all mentions of "apps" instead of "software" or "programs", AWAY with charms and any screen's-edge UI...Just do away with metro and I'll upgrade. Otherwise, Microsoft, you'll never see my money ever again.
  • 15 Hide
    ricdiculus , February 8, 2014 12:36 AM
    At least Microsoft finally acknowledges the need for classic shell. Bout time.
  • 12 Hide
    KelvinTy , February 8, 2014 12:49 AM
    It's just too difficult to put a simple option stating "Modern UI / Traditional Desktop" in one of the installation steps.I guess it's just too easy to do that instead of programming to detect monitors and stuffs. Master managments, excellent programming indeed, fantastic logic, A+ intelligence, 10/10 IGN.
Other Comments
    Display all 45 comments.
  • 8 Hide
    back_by_demand , February 8, 2014 12:05 AM
    ClassicShell, nuff said
  • 15 Hide
    ricdiculus , February 8, 2014 12:36 AM
    At least Microsoft finally acknowledges the need for classic shell. Bout time.
  • 12 Hide
    KelvinTy , February 8, 2014 12:49 AM
    It's just too difficult to put a simple option stating "Modern UI / Traditional Desktop" in one of the installation steps.I guess it's just too easy to do that instead of programming to detect monitors and stuffs. Master managments, excellent programming indeed, fantastic logic, A+ intelligence, 10/10 IGN.
  • 1 Hide
    icehot , February 8, 2014 1:50 AM
    this actually sounds like a good mix of the 2 environments at last, detecting the best interface for the best device is a much better idea, and I do like the sound of title bars again on metro app... can't wait to try it out!
  • 0 Hide
    rokit , February 8, 2014 2:32 AM
    "using a screen without touch capability, then the platform will boot to the desktop by default."microsoft, not an update without fail. This is how it should've worked instead: If mouse detected -> boot to normal desktop with Windows7 theme(no flat ugly moderated, please keep it clean windows decorations) by default.
  • 6 Hide
    Avus , February 8, 2014 2:42 AM
    So for the last couple years, M$ are busy to introduce functions for Win 8/8.1 that actually had been a "basic thing" for the last 15+ years of Windows computing... stuff like Start button, boot to desktop, (up coming Start menu??)... While a fresh copy of Win 7 with SP1 (still sold by the millions) still need to face with 150+ windows update...
  • 29 Hide
    Morbus , February 8, 2014 4:20 AM
    What Microsoft needs to be doing is REMOVE all metro from not touch devices. REMOVE it completely. I don't want to see anything metro on a 1440p 27 inch screen. It's a complete waste of time. Do AWAY with the metro-style network selector, do AWAY with the metro-style start menu, do AWAY with any metro-style control panel, AWAY with the metro-style windows store, AWAY with the metro-style software selector (for unknown file types), AWAY with the purple, AWAY with the metro-style login screen, AWAY with the useless BSOD, AWAY with all mentions of "apps" instead of "software" or "programs", AWAY with charms and any screen's-edge UI...Just do away with metro and I'll upgrade. Otherwise, Microsoft, you'll never see my money ever again.
  • 0 Hide
    dwdesign , February 8, 2014 5:46 AM
    Windows 8 should have been introduced this way for traditional PC. Leave the apps to tablets and ultras. This is why I switched to OSX.
  • -6 Hide
    JOSHSKORN , February 8, 2014 6:03 AM
    When I upgrade, I might just end up OSX in a VirtualBox instead of Windows 8/8.1. That's pretty sad, I never thought I'd say that.
  • 8 Hide
    hoofhearted , February 8, 2014 7:47 AM
    Quote:
    What Microsoft needs to be doing is REMOVE all metro from not touch devices. REMOVE it completely. I don't want to see anything metro on a 1440p 27 inch screen. It's a complete waste of time. Do AWAY with the metro-style network selector, do AWAY with the metro-style start menu, do AWAY with any metro-style control panel, AWAY with the metro-style windows store, AWAY with the metro-style software selector (for unknown file types), AWAY with the purple, AWAY with the metro-style login screen, AWAY with the useless BSOD, AWAY with all mentions of "apps" instead of "software" or "programs", AWAY with charms and any screen's-edge UI...Just do away with metro and I'll upgrade. Otherwise, Microsoft, you'll never see my money ever again.
    Quote:
    What Microsoft needs to be doing is REMOVE all metro from not touch devices. REMOVE it completely. I don't want to see anything metro on a 1440p 27 inch screen. It's a complete waste of time. Do AWAY with the metro-style network selector, do AWAY with the metro-style start menu, do AWAY with any metro-style control panel, AWAY with the metro-style windows store, AWAY with the metro-style software selector (for unknown file types), AWAY with the purple, AWAY with the metro-style login screen, AWAY with the useless BSOD, AWAY with all mentions of "apps" instead of "software" or "programs", AWAY with charms and any screen's-edge UI...Just do away with metro and I'll upgrade. Otherwise, Microsoft, you'll never see my money ever again.
    I actually found a use for it. I have a two year old daughter and this is the perfect interface for teaching her how to use a computer and mouse.
  • -3 Hide
    ddpruitt , February 8, 2014 8:27 AM
    The interface is an Microsoft's way of overcompensating for the fact that they missed the boat with smartphones and tables. The interface works for tablets but that's about it. It takes too long to find anything on a phone and for a computer it's just a huge was of screen real estate. It works fine for the 90% of the population that only uses a PC for checking email and facebook, but for those of us that open several browser windows with dozens of tabs a piece, keep a couple of editors running, a command line, an explorer window and a couple of applications running at the same time Metro is a hindrance. Google and Apple that you have to adapt the interface between tablets, phones, and PCs, why can't Microsoft figure this one out?
  • 3 Hide
    Christopher1 , February 8, 2014 8:39 AM
    Quote:
    The interface is an Microsoft's way of overcompensating for the fact that they missed the boat with smartphones and tables. The interface works for tablets but that's about it. It takes too long to find anything on a phone and for a computer it's just a huge was of screen real estate. It works fine for the 90% of the population that only uses a PC for checking email and facebook, but for those of us that open several browser windows with dozens of tabs a piece, keep a couple of editors running, a command line, an explorer window and a couple of applications running at the same time Metro is a hindrance. Google and Apple that you have to adapt the interface between tablets, phones, and PCs, why can't Microsoft figure this one out?
    The interface works well for non-tablets as well. I'm personally using it to post this comment and I love the full screen start menu in Windows 8. Not that hard to shift between Modern UI and Desktop apps.
  • 0 Hide
    ap3x , February 8, 2014 9:47 AM
    Quote:
    What Microsoft needs to be doing is REMOVE all metro from not touch devices. REMOVE it completely. I don't want to see anything metro on a 1440p 27 inch screen. It's a complete waste of time. Do AWAY with the metro-style network selector, do AWAY with the metro-style start menu, do AWAY with any metro-style control panel, AWAY with the metro-style windows store, AWAY with the metro-style software selector (for unknown file types), AWAY with the purple, AWAY with the metro-style login screen, AWAY with the useless BSOD, AWAY with all mentions of "apps" instead of "software" or "programs", AWAY with charms and any screen's-edge UI...Just do away with metro and I'll upgrade. Otherwise, Microsoft, you'll never see my money ever again.
    No you wouldn't. You would have no reason to upgrade. Might as well stay on Windows 8 at that point. People just don't like things that have been used for years to change much. Gradual improvements. Anything drastic and you get comments like the one above and then the 16 thumbs up on it. If Microsoft continued to do things that way they would continue to rapidly decline in market share. They have to come up with fresh idea and innovative ways for people to interact with their applications and other people through their computer. They are competing with OSX and to a lesser extent Ubuntu Linux. IMO metro is not a bad first try and introducing a new way to get to applications. Not perfect and could use some continued refinement but not bad. It is extremely fast.
  • 0 Hide
    lp231 , February 8, 2014 10:14 AM
    Both my laptop and desktop running 8.1 does not support touch screen. I like to boot into the Start screen, instead of the desktop. If I already did the manual switch as with the steps listed, Then what is the major point of this update?If I have it as boot to start screen, and I did not set it to boot to desktop, then basically what this update does is, change that setting to boot to desktop for me, right?Any other useful features instead of just boot to desktop with this update?
  • 4 Hide
    mortsmi7 , February 8, 2014 11:27 AM
    I'm glad they're adding a shutdown button. With a right-side screen extension, hovering in just the right spot is more work than it should be.
  • 0 Hide
    Innocent_Bystander , February 8, 2014 1:34 PM
    I can already feel the pain in the ass this is going to cause on my touch screen, but otherwise traditional laptop...having said that, Metro on my Lumia 920 is brilliant.
  • 1 Hide
    anonymous_user , February 8, 2014 1:45 PM
    Quote:
    Any other useful features instead of just boot to desktop with this update?
    I don't know if you would consider them useful but Update 1 brings a lot of other changes like titlebars for Metro apps, Metro apps show on the taskbar, and the taskbar can be brought up on the Start Screen (its not always visible though).
  • -1 Hide
    Innocent_Bystander , February 8, 2014 1:49 PM
    I can already feel the pain in the ass this is going to cause on my touch screen, but otherwise traditional laptop...having said that, Metro on my Lumia 920 is brilliant.
  • -5 Hide
    candele , February 8, 2014 2:05 PM
    I'm thinking of getting an ASUS N550jv with a touch screen. Should I reconsider the touch screen? Who knows what %&*%%$$&( Microsoft will do with 8.2?
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