Friday, January 31, 2014

Windows 8.1 will boot to classic desktop as default?

In the movie The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Brad Pitt played a character who passed through life in reverse chronological progression; with Windows 8, Microsoft seems to be doing the same... and proving that the "customer is always right". In an upcoming Windows 8.1 update, Microsoft seems to finally be willing to do the thing it should have done right from the start: boot the system into the classic desktop environment instead of the new Metro/Tile interface.

Don't get me wrong, I think the Metro interface is quite clever and ingenious, and has a lot to offer - but for most users, sitting on a desk and using a keyboard and mouse and using Windows for over a decade, it doesn't really make much sense. Instead of forcing users to use Metro and treating the classic desktop as an afterthought, MS should have done the opposite: give users what they want - the classic desktop and their precious start menu - and offer them the Metro interface has something they could try and explore... as they pleased.

MS has been back tracking since it first launched Windows 8, first adding a hidden "boot to desktop" option (that most users probably won't even notice or know about), and now turning it on by default.

At least, millions of user will be greeted by a familiar desktop when they first boot up their windows 8 machines instead of feeling completely lost with an interface they can't navigate. My only question is... why didn't Microsoft thought of this from the very beginning? Doing so would have bypassed most criticisms Windows 8 has received so far, and it would make people far more willing to upgrade than - as it is happening right now - downgrading Windows 8 machines to Windows 7.

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