Windows 8.1 May Reintroduce Boot-To-Desktop Mode

Many people may disagree, but one of Microsoft's biggest mistakes with Windows 8 is forcing desktop and laptop customers to boot straight into the new Modern UI overlay. While it's understandable that the Redmond company is trying to push a new way of computing that spans across multiple devices, the move should be gradual, perhaps even optional, so that customers who have relied on the desktop since the early 90s can get used to the change at their own pace.

Sure, there's a tile that leads directly to the desktop, but throw in the removal of the traditional Start button/menu, and long-time Windows customers may be reluctant to upgrade from what's been "normal" for decades, even more so with touch-based solutions still rather pricey. Because of this, Microsoft may be caving in to the keyboard and mouse crowd with the release of Windows 8.1 later this year.

MicrosoftPortal (via WinBeta translation) reportedly dug into important operating system files stemming from one of the recent Windows 8.1 leaks and discovered references for disabling the Start screen. One such file was twinui.dll -- which is responsible for switching between the Modern UI and desktop user interfaces -- that contained a setting labeled "CanSuppressStartScreen".

According to the report, disabling or modifying this code will supposedly make the system boot into desktop automatically without the need for third-party software like Start8. The current leaked builds reportedly don't feature a toggle for booting directly into the desktop, so it's possible that Microsoft still hasn't decided on whether to include the desktop toggle or not.

Previous reports surrounding the leaked Windows 8.1 builds indicate that Microsoft is actually trying to move even further away from the desktop, throwing more controls onto the Start screen than before. But with Windows 8 partially blamed for the continued decline in PC sales, Microsoft may not have any choice but to allow Windows 8 towers and laptops to be sold with the desktop as the primary focus, not the new Start screen. This could possibly ease consumer reluctance in upgrading their current Windows platform or from buying a completely new machine.

Windows 8.1 is part of Microsoft's "Windows Blue" release schedule which sees the Redmond company refreshing the Windows platform annually rather than waiting every three or four years. Windows Blue will supposedly span across multiple platforms including Windows Phone and Windows RT.

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  • esrever
    This would definitely be great. The metro UI just isn't needed on a desktop/laptop.
  • bak0n
    It has nothing to do with "at your own pace". Some people, like myself just plain don't like tiles even after having giving them a shot.
  • groundrat
    Finally. Common sense comes to Redmond.
  • merikafyeah
    Best immediate solution:
  • wiyosaya
    Good luck to M$. I really don't think they understand the market place. Poor sales, IMHO, are being driven by the fact that businesses will not spend the money on it after finally having spent a considerable amount of money to upgrade to 7. Maybe doz 9 or 10 will be the next best seller.
  • mcd023
    You know what's gonna happen, people are gonna rejoice, then realize that they are pressing the start button to go to the screen to open an app, and then they'll say, "man, this sucks!"
  • christop
    Maybe they are learning from this metro crap.
  • Immoral Medic
    Allow me to disable metro completely. Then I might be a little happier.
  • onichikun
    The issue isn't with their push to create a new style of computing across devices, but more of the poor execution on the desktop front. The metro-slapped-onto-desktop approach was a bad idea, and I feel like their innovation was just half assed. They created a start menu replacement that lacked any benefits for a parallel workspace, so they just left in the traditional windows desktop.
  • twelve25
    Windows 8 really has a lot going for it. So I think Microsoft would be wise to give consumers the choice of UI, while still allowing access to the Metro UI if they want to run marketplace apps. More choice and letting the customer tailor the system to their need/wants is not a bad thing.