It looks as if Microsoft are finally listening to their customers and they will be bringing back the Start Menu in their Windows 8.1 release later this year. Additionally they plan on allowing the end user to boot directly to the desktop, rather than dealing with the tile based Metro initially.
Kitguru has published quite a few articles on Windows 8. We also suggested after release that Microsoft could have used a detection algorithm on install. This simple code change could have detected a desktop processor in the system and defaulted to an initial boot into the traditional desktop, rather than the Metro interface, which is designed for touch screen tablets.
While Windows 8 has its fair share of believers, the overriding outcome so far is that Windows 8 has not been the success story the operating system giant had hoped. It has not driven sales of desktop computers either, as many industry insiders had hoped in analysis last year before release. The PC market is actually in a worse state in 2013 than it was a year previous.
ZDNET wrote about the reintroduction of the START menu and Mary Jo Foley confirmed that one of her sources said that this looks to be the plan not only for Windows 8.1, but for the next generation operating system entitled Windows BLUE. Companies such as StarDock have capitalised on the negative change, by releasing a START menu (START8), charging customers $4.99 to get it back.
Microsoft officials have been quite forceful in their views, saying that users are not confused by the new Windows 8 interface and they find it ‘easy to start to learn’, especially on touch screens. Many people (like myself), do like the operating system when running on a smartphone or tablet, but it makes less sense on a traditional desktop system. Until some user changes are made anyway.
It wouldn’t be the first time Microsoft have changed their stance on a user interface change. UAC springs to mind, as it was voted the ‘most hated feature’ in Vista. They changed the implementation in Windows 7, a popular move with customers.
Kitguru says: While many happy Windows 8 users feel these changes should not need to made, it certainly would appeal to the masses who find navigation less than ideal.