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Windows GUI Microsoft

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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  • No (Score:2, Informative)

    by Stargoat (658863) <stargoat@gmail.com> on Tuesday April 16, 2013 @03:18PM (#43464965) Journal

    Microsoft cannot stop the exodus. And it is only going to speed up once smart phone docking stations become ubiquitous.

    My smart phone has almost as much horsepower as my PC. There's no reason in the world why I should not be able to hook up my IBM Model M, a mouse, and a couple of large monitors to it for the purposes of media creation. Once this happens commonly, it's all over for Microsoft.

  • Er...what exodus? (Score:5, Informative)

    by xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) on Tuesday April 16, 2013 @03:22PM (#43465011)

    >> will Microsoft's updates be dynamic enough to stop the current Windows exodus?

    Er...what exodus? Within the Windows community, people are just opting to stay with Windows 7 rather than go to Windows 8. Same thing happened with XP/Vista...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 16, 2013 @03:25PM (#43465033)

    oh, wait that was 7 ....

  • by roc97007 (608802) on Tuesday April 16, 2013 @03:29PM (#43465085) Journal

    Especially when the water is foul.

  • Re:Windows 7 (Score:5, Informative)

    by roc97007 (608802) on Tuesday April 16, 2013 @03:35PM (#43465161) Journal

    Dunno about you, but I'm in no hurry to update Office, so whether the latest version forces the new gui is not important.

    Incidentally, I confirmed last weekend that Office 2000 works on Windows 8. I'm good.

  • by GodInHell (258915) on Tuesday April 16, 2013 @03:35PM (#43465167) Homepage
    I don't know about the devs at MS, but I got used to it pretty quickly. My new laptop came with Win8 -- which I committed to using for 2 weeks before I spent money on a Win7 license. At first I hated the stock interface, but I got over it. The desktop is a desktop -- I can still load software off the task bar by pinning a link there. The only time I see metro is when I need to load something other than the core 4-6 tools I use (Firefox, Word, Excel, IE and Publisher) ... so mostly when I want to run steam or wow.

    For everything else, just hit start and start typing what you're looking for -- it pops up.

    Now -- I don't think it's "better" than the start button (which did all of that without a full-screen interface that blocks my view of open docs, etc) but it's not all that bad.

    The trade off is that the rest of the OS makes a bit more sense -- the interface is cleaner (less clutter around the window edge), file and print sharing is more stream-lined, etc. I have no idea what the charm bar is for, I think it should go away. But overall -- it's a standard windows experience - slightly annoying but it gets the job done. I have to go back and forth from Win7 (at work and on my desktop at home) and Win8 on my laptop -- not really enough of a difference to notice 9 times out of 10.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 16, 2013 @03:38PM (#43465201)

    The pedal orientation is not switched in RHD cars.

  • Re:Windows 7 (Score:4, Informative)

    by roc97007 (608802) on Tuesday April 16, 2013 @04:00PM (#43465443) Journal

    At this date I only send documents that are .docx or .xlsx MS OpenXML. Good luck with that and hope you are not sending out resumes with that format. A hint. that table that looks fine will look like crap and be misformatted in my Word 2010 viewer. I will throw it out and go to another candidate.

    Apparently you've never heard of the Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack. Google it; it's a free download.

    A hint: Don't send out resumes in docx format unless you're trying to get a job as an MCSE. Use pdf.

  • Re:No (Score:3, Informative)

    by Minwee (522556) <dcr@neverwhen.org> on Tuesday April 16, 2013 @04:05PM (#43465535) Homepage

    A modern smartphone has a gigahertz processor, a gigabyte of RAM

    A modern smart phone has an ARM processor, which is nothing at all like the more powerful CPUs used in desktop PCs.

    If most smart phones were x86 I think it'd already have happened, but the only two who can produce x86 chips don't want to kill the PC market.

    If smart phones were built on x86 they would be the size of a football and you would need to carry the battery on your back. The complete System on a Chip used in a smart phone consumes around one or two watts, while the smallest embedded i3 CPU alone draws ten times that much. There's a very good reason for not using x86 processors in embedded devices and it isn't "Intel doesn't feel like making them", but rather "It's like swatting a fly with a Cadillac".

  • by justthinkit (954982) <floyd@just-think-it.com> on Tuesday April 16, 2013 @04:10PM (#43465599) Homepage Journal
    Nope, November 20. 1985 [wikipedia.org], after having been "conceived" in 1981.
  • Re:Er...what exodus? (Score:4, Informative)

    by GrumpySteen (1250194) on Tuesday April 16, 2013 @04:11PM (#43465629)

    No. Your statement is only true if you assume that everyone who buys a tablet is throwing away the computer they already own. That's an incredibly foolish assumption.

  • by linebackn (131821) on Tuesday April 16, 2013 @04:17PM (#43465701)

    An interesting "full circle" given the history of the PC that the main reason given now for keeping it around is that is corporate inertia.

    Exactly, take a look at the software that made companies buy IBM PCs in the first place. These were spread sheets, word processors, databases, financial programs and such. Those needs may seem mundane today but they are not magically going away, and they are just as critical to businesses as they were then. And those are not the sort of things you can easily do on a toy phone or tablet.

  • Re:No (Score:5, Informative)

    by Kjella (173770) on Tuesday April 16, 2013 @04:28PM (#43465833) Homepage

    If smart phones were built on x86 they would be the size of a football

    Actually it would look like this [anandtech.com]...

  • by Tarlus (1000874) on Tuesday April 16, 2013 @04:33PM (#43465899)

    In fact, Windows 8 was a thing before Metro was. Even the early builds still had the start menu and Aero.

  • Re:No (Score:5, Informative)

    by Kjella (173770) on Tuesday April 16, 2013 @04:47PM (#43466073) Homepage

    Uh...if sufficient you mean a PC from 2001, then I guess so.

    My ultra-portable laptop from 2002 had a single-core 750 MHz Pentium III-M processor, 128MB RAM and 20GB HDD so you're off by at least a couple years if you want it to be as apples-to-apples as the comparison goes. The latest Samsung Galaxy S4 that launches in 10 days has a 1.9 GHz quad-core Krait 300 (GT-I9505 version), 2 GB LPDDR3 RAM and 64 GB of flash - it'd run a million circles around my old laptop.

  • Re:No (Score:5, Informative)

    by Kjella (173770) on Tuesday April 16, 2013 @05:06PM (#43466257) Homepage

    It's still an Atom processor, not a true x86. If you don't understand the difference you may want to do some serious reading before you make yourself look even more foolish.

    Sweet little troll, x86 is an instruction set and Atoms are as true as they come. In fact it supports x86-64 as well, not the oldest Atoms but even this little smart phone is a full 64 bit processor. It's not very fast but if you think that's anything to do with it you're the foolish one.

  • Re:No (Score:4, Informative)

    by Hatta (162192) on Tuesday April 16, 2013 @05:08PM (#43466283) Journal

    I won't be replacing my PC with a phone any time soon either. But my mom could replace her PC with a phone or tablet today and lose nothing. Most people are more like my mom than they are like you or me.

  • by DarkOx (621550) on Tuesday April 16, 2013 @05:36PM (#43466541) Journal

    Windows 3.x was certainly more than an 'application' running on top of DOS. Windows did its own disk I/O on i386 hardware, its own memory management, its own task scheduling, its own video etc. It did what an OS does and shared that hardware and furnished higher level SYS and API calls to applications. DOS was hardly more than a boot loader for Windows 3.x It just happens that windows preserved the environment and allowed you to return to it.

    Its a bit of matter of semantics and what definitions of things you like to use; but Windows 3 was not just an 'Application' in the modern user of the term, nor was it quite an OS.

  • by drsmithy (35869) <drsmithy AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday April 16, 2013 @05:44PM (#43466605)

    Windows from version /386 has handled hardware drivers, process scheduling, memory management and user interface.

    Pretty much any OS textbook will identify these as the things an operating system does.

  • by Dzimas (547818) on Tuesday April 16, 2013 @05:49PM (#43466663)
    Brake is in the middle. The clutch is on the left. Otherwise you were sold an inferior vehicle.

    Or perhaps I'm driving a Ford Model T. They sold millions of them with a brake on the right, reverse pedal in the middle, and the clutch on the left. The throttle lever is on the steering wheel.

  • by s.petry (762400) on Tuesday April 16, 2013 @10:10PM (#43468701)

    Me thinks you should go read the definition of Operating System [wikipedia.org] and compare that to what Windows 3.x was. Windows required a Disk Operating system in order to run because it lacked very important aspects of an Operating system. Low level drivers could not be loaded in Windows, like Disk I/O and Network devices (hell even Keyboard and Mouse was loaded by DOS). Windows was an easier way to launch applications, sure, but a launcher is not an operating system.

  • by mjwx (966435) on Wednesday April 17, 2013 @01:25AM (#43469583)

    The pedal orientation is not switched in RHD cars.

    Also, most of Europe is LHD, only the UK is RHD.

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