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Windows 8.1 May Restore Boot-To-Desktop, Start Button 628

Posted by Soulskill
from the back-by-popular-demand dept.
New submitter geekoid writes "According to media reports about leaked Windows 8.1 code, the next incarnation of Microsoft's flagship operating system will have an option to boot directly to the desktop. People have discovered 'references to a "CanSuppressStartScreen" option in early builds of the Windows 8.1 registry.' There is also speculation that Microsoft will be re-implementing the Start button, though the claims come from nebulous 'sources,' rather than the leaked code. In light of recent reporting about the general distaste and design flaws of Windows 8's user interface, will Microsoft's updates be dynamic enough to stop the current Windows exodus?"
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Windows 8.1 May Restore Boot-To-Desktop, Start Button

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  • by Faizdog (243703) on Tuesday April 16, 2013 @02:42PM (#43465251)

    In the last 6 months I've bought 2 computers, a desktop and a laptop. And both times I went well out of my way to avoid Win8.

    Now I consider myself at least slightly more computer savvy than the average individual, and when I went to Best Buy to play around with Windows 8 (since I'd heard it was different) the 20 minute trial I gave it was VERY FRUSTRATING. I managed to figure things out a bit, and I had no doubt with some time and internet searching I could figure the rest out, but I had no desire to!!

    I didn't want to spend time figuring it out! It just pissed me off. I needed a desktop very urgently, and was planning on buying a new computer and buying a copy of Win7 online and just wiping off Win8.

    (Side Note: Basic economic supply and demand, Pro Edition of Win8 cost ~$60, Home Edition of Win7 online cost ~$150. Hmmmmmm)

    I got lucky because the guy working at Best Buy said they had a desktop at 25% off only because it had Win7. Looked at the tech specs, was good, just what I wanted and left happy, getting a discount to get what I wanted.

    A few months later I needed a laptop (was travelling a lot). I deliberately went to the Lenovo and Dell business line sections to search since the machines for business users still have Win7 (ended up getting a ThinkPad).

    Now, I paid the MS Win tax regardless both times. I wanted a Windows machine. But Win 8 so frustrated me that I went out of my way to avoid it, when it would've been simpler to just buy a machine with it. I was ready to spend more online to buy Win7 and overwrite the default installation.

    I can't be the only one that's done this recently.

  • by ZeroPly (881915) on Tuesday April 16, 2013 @03:01PM (#43465473)
    This is not strictly true. The reason for keeping it around is that people like me get to leave at 5pm and do things besides messing with computers.

    When we get a new PC in, it takes all of 20 minutes for us to load on a custom image with our network specific settings. Maybe another 15 minutes for Office, Adobe Pro, antivirus, and all the utilities that are installed by default. Applications like Photoshop or AutoCAD might take 10 minutes each. All this is fully automated, an 8th grader would be able to do it once we showed them how the management tools work. And it's over a 1G Ethernet link, so it's fast.

    Contrast that to when we get a new iPad in. No PXE booting, no easy configuration through the network. No management tools that are worth a tin shit. I have to physically enter all that information in. Can't even swap in a replicated hard drive since it can't be taken apart. Loading from a USB stick? Hahah... No we have to go through the "cloud" for everything.

    This isn't inertia. This is "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". I do this for a living and have to stay late when things change. Chasing the new shiny from Apple isn't as important to me as getting home in time to get a motorcycle ride in. When the CIO asks me about Windows 8, I just say "let's wait for a start button".
  • Proposed solution (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Horshu (2754893) on Tuesday April 16, 2013 @03:03PM (#43465503)
    Let Explorer run Metro apps (non-maximized, with chrome), and let Metro run Explorer apps (maximized, chromeless). Then let user choose the mode, default being based on form factor but overridable by user.
  • Timeline (Score:2, Interesting)

    by fredgiblet (1063752) on Tuesday April 16, 2013 @03:05PM (#43465521)
    2012 - Microsoft introduces Metro to much wailing and gnashing of teeth
    2013 - Microsoft retracts Metro
    2014 - Google/Apple produce a new desktop/laptop interface that is functionally identical to Metro to the delight of everyone who uses it
    2015 - Microsoft re-introduced Metro, is told they are copying
  • Re:No (Score:4, Interesting)

    by afidel (530433) on Tuesday April 16, 2013 @03:18PM (#43465711)

    The international version of the Galaxy 3S produces ~6400 BogoMIPS, about 20% more than a CoreDuo from 2006. Add in the fact that it has a pretty sweet GPU and the average users really can't tell the difference.

  • by Faizdog (243703) on Tuesday April 16, 2013 @03:22PM (#43465757)

    You know that all you have to do is to click the lower left hand corner of the screen to bring up the desktop, right? It took you 20 minutes to figure that out?

    Sure if that's all that was different. I wanted to see how different options were controlled (control panel issues), had weird things happen when moving around the mouse (hot corners etc) and other nuisances. Even after I got to the desktop, the easy list of everything in a start menu was missing.

    Again, could've learned it, could've figured it out, there are workarounds, it's not rocket science. BUT WHY? Individually each thing is minor, but the cumulative effect is damned annoying. Why would a company unnecessarily aggravate so many of their users? If you wanted a single OS for tablets and other PCs, give each the interface best suited to it.

  • I bought a new laptop last month that came with Windows 8. I wiped it and installed fresh from an OEM copy to get rid of the crapware, but basically I am happy with Windows 8. It boots fast and with Classic Start Menu installed is pretty similar to Windows 7. There are a few nice improvements like the way multiple input languages are handled and the new flat UI theme actually works quite well.

    While not exactly intuitive I didn't find the Metro stuff or whatever it is now called to be particularly hard to use or confounding. When you start the computer for the first time it explains how the hot corners work and you are pretty much sorted from there. People complain that they can't turn their computer off but the power button seems to work just fine for me. Anyway, that stuff is all disabled now, I boot directly to the desktop.

    Windows 8 isn't nearly as bad as people make out. It certainly isn't Vista bad. I have a spare Windows 7 license but I see no reason to use it. Then again I'm weird, I actually like the Office 2010 ribbon.

  • by mlts (1038732) * on Tuesday April 16, 2013 @04:20PM (#43466399)

    MS already had success with this method. Back in the XP days, MS needed to drag developers into modern days using a decent security model, which required a rewrite of drivers. So, Vista came out which resulted in vendors writing alpha quality code, and blaming the breaks on MS's new OS.

    By the time Windows 7 got out the door, third parties finally got the concept of not having admin rights for every single executable, so it was painless.

    Windows 9 is when people will say that MS has it "right"... and the cycle will begin anew.

  • by theurge14 (820596) on Tuesday April 16, 2013 @04:28PM (#43466485)

    In a way you made my point. There was a time when a PC was the "new shiny". There was a long period of time during PC history when there was no PXE booting and WDS, no AD, no GP, no easy configuration through the network or management tools. But yet it caught on and eventually became what it is now. I look at the large cycle of history of the PC and I see how it replaced the "restrictive" old client-server paradigm in favor of all that local power and freedom on your desktop, only to be retrofitted over the years to go right back where it began with the restricted and confined client-server paradigm. And now we're seeing it start over again with the whole BYOD movement.

  • Re:No (Score:4, Interesting)

    by UnknownSoldier (67820) on Tuesday April 16, 2013 @04:36PM (#43466549)

    >> A $200 pocket phone still cannot do a lot of things a full desktop PC could do a decade ago.
    > Only because the software isn't there. And fixing that is only a matter of time. ... The CPU is really only a bottleneck

    Can I have some of what you are smoking please?

    1. Let me know when I can _compile_ on a smart phone. Last time I checked there is NO native compiler running on iOS -- you need a "real" computer (aka desktop) for that. Likewise for game development you're not going to use some shitty 1 GB mobile CPU when you have 16 GB or more plus an i7 for game development. Maybe you'll complain most people don't need "high end code editing". Fine. Let me know when I can edit my HTML / Javascript pages on a phone. Just because you _can_ do it, doesn't mean you _should_ do it. My next point addresses this:

    2. Why the hell would I even try to develop on a phone at a crappy low res phone display 1000x600 when I have 2560x1440 27" monitor to write code on AND a 2nd 1920x1080 monitor to run my app on??

    IF phones would let me extend their "screen" to a REAL monitor then Yes, you MIGHT have a point someday.

    At least you didn't mention the GPU. The advancement of GPU and OpenGL is moving along quite nicely. Every iOS user needs to check out "The Room" for a perfect example of how to properly use a GPU ! []

    Just in case you don't get it. The KEY point is:

    Mobile = great for consuming content,
    Desktop = great for creating content.

    Will Mobile catch up to the Desktop? Yes, I agree the gap will significantly decrease but I seriously doubt it will even come close within 10 years. The number of people consuming content is always much > the number of people creating content.

    In other news ZDnet is dead. I haven't read "PC Magazine" in years.

  • by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968 AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday April 16, 2013 @05:02PM (#43466831) Journal

    I'll just jump in here because the entire thread is now talking about God damned cars, if that was your intent congrats as it worked.

    As for Windows NINE, or Blue, calling it "8.1" when we haven't seen how much they did to the guts would be like calling Vista "XP.1" when they had radically changed everything (for the better I might add, even though Vista sucked getting rid of "run as admin" by default had to be done and the idiot that did that with XP, most likely so win9X games could run easier, should have been fired) would be stupid so lets hold off judging whether its a point 1 or another radical shift until we see the thing.

    But if they don't bring back the start menu and traditional desktop? I predict MSFT will be EOL before Win 7 is EOL in 2020 and I honestly never thought I'd be able to say that. I mean look at the facts, we have Alienware selling an Ubuntu based gaming rig, you have Chromebooks on the main pages of Tiger and many other web sellers...this is unprecedented folks, it really is. Not even 5 years ago trying to sell a PC without Windows was the kiss of death. Sure dell had a few but they were on the back page and you had warnings like you were walking into the adult section of a video store, now all these companies are openly advertising non windows systems? We haven't seen that since IBM killed OS/2 more than 20 years ago.

    But despite what the morons at places like Motley Fool say the PC is NOT dying, its NOT going away, heck PC gaming alone made more than 20 billion dollars last year and PCs still sell hundreds of millions of systems yearly. The entire premises is because PCs don't sell like they used to then its "ZOMFG they are dying, everybody is just buying iPads ZOMFG!" when in reality its just PCs are now INSANELY overpowered for what people have to do. I built a new PC every year from 94-07...why? Because I really didn't have much of a choice, with single core speeds jumping so fast you really couldn't upgrade and a 2 year old PC would be struggling to run the latest software. in one 5 year period I went from a 400MHz to a 2200MHz, that is 5 times the speed in 5 years, it was just nuts. Now that the MHz war is over they switched to cores and quickly ended up with systems much MUCH faster than anybody but a rare few percent can actually max out. Now my nearly 4 year old PC has 6 cores, 8GB of RAM, and 3TB worth of space...why would I build a new one when nothing is maxing out what I got?

    So somebody at MSFT had BETTER grow a damned brain, X86 is still a billion dollar business and is here to stay, it will simply move from the insane "OMG I have to throw my 2 year old PC away because its too slow!" to a more sane 5-7 year cycle but that is still hundreds of millions of units every year. if MSFT wants to be Apple that is fine, I don't think it will happen but whatever, but you don't shit all over your existing markets because you want to get into a new market. Look we ALL know what the start screen and TIFKAM was, it was somebody at MSFT that had heard of the EEE strategy but didn't know how to actually do it trying to use the desktop to EEE their way into mobile and of course it flopped, anybody with a drop of common sense saw that it was sticking handlebars on a pickup, tablets and desktops just don't work anything alike and trying to shoehorn a mobile OS onto the desktop was just as dumb as the itty bitty start screen they used on WinCE. But with so many selling OSes other than Windows MSFT better wake the fuck up because we know what that is, that is the OEMs looking at exit strategies. If MSFT doesn't make a desktop people want somebody is gonna take that market and with their shitty numbers they can't afford to just abandon the X86 market.

  • by LVSlushdat (854194) on Tuesday April 16, 2013 @05:27PM (#43467047)

    I don't know why their designers thought otherwise.

    I DO! IDO! (waves hand!) .... Its because they're idiots.. I am the neighborhood tech support guy (probably cuz I'm retired and around the house most of the time), and since Windows 8 was shoved down everybodys throat, I hardly go a week without somebody in the neighborhood asking me "how do I get *something* besides this new Windows?"... There have been several neighbors who didn't ask me before going to WorstBuy or Frys and buying a new laptop and then finding it came with Microsoft's latest steaming turd, Windows 8. Universally, these poor folks agree with me that Windows 8 IS a steaming turd.. I've pointed those who ask to the Dell Outlet and purchasing one of the excellent factory refurb'ed Latitude laptops there.. They come with Windows 7 (at least for now) and have the same 3 year warantee as a build-to-order system, with a VERY nice discount.. For my own systems, they come from either the Dell Outlet or Dell Financial Services Off-lease sales.. A couple of months ago, I picked up an off-lease Dell Precision T3500 workstation, Xeon Quad-core processor, 4GB of ram, 160GB 10Krpm SAS drive, and an Nvidia Quadro FX580/512mb video card for $408. The system was originally $490, but I found a 25% off coupon on Slickdeals that brought it down to $408, including the $39 add-on warrantee. Another hundred dollars took the system to 12GB of ram. It came with Windows 7 64Bit. oops.. got a bit off-topic there... Anyway, Microsoft is going to HAVE to address their brain-dead Metro interface on Windows 8 IF they want corporate America to stop turning their noses up at it.. Your average corporate "cube-rat" doing spreadsheets/word documents and is currently using XP is gonna most likely be pulling his hair out by the roots IF his IT department takes away his XP system and plops down a Windows 8 system in its place.. Just before I retired, I worked on a temporary contract support job rolling out new Windows 7 systems to replace the companies old XP boxes.. Since I was a contract weenie, I just swapped boxes and got them working, I didn't deal with the following from users... "Hey! this looks different... How do I....".... But the regular IT weinies sure were getting a LOT it, and you gotta figure this was ONLY a move between XP and 7.. Can you flippin' imagine the questions from a XP to windows 8 rollout???????? With budgets as tight as they are, you're not gonna see any training on the new UI. Soo... Unless Microsoft
    decides to admit they made a mistake, and replace the "Windows7-ness" of Windows 8, I strongly suspect you're gonna see Windows 8 become another Windows Vista...

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