Microsoft's Update to Windows 8.1 May Boot Directly to Desktop by Default

Paul Lilly

One step closer to the Windows 8/8.1 you always wanted

There's a scene at the end of Stepbrothers where Brennan exclaims, "You guys finally came to your senses and got us something cool!" He was referring to pirate hats, crossbows, illicit magazines, and other swag uncovered in his and Dale's treehouse, but if Microsoft keeps tweaking Windows 8 the way it has been, desktop users far and wide will be shouting the same thing at Redmond. While nothing is set in stone, it's being reported that internal builds of Windows 8.1 Update 1 enable the boot-to-desktop option by default .

We don't want to make a mountain out of a mole hill here, but bypassing the tile screen and booting directly to the desktop alleviates one of the concerns Windows 8 critics have with the touch-friendly OS. Of course, you can already enable this feature in Windows 8.1 -- a freely available update for Windows 8 -- but it's not checked by default.

As minor as this may seem, it's actually a big step for Microsoft. The company's original vision was that its Metro environment would be a hit among users, and while it works well on mobile devices, desktop users haven't really embraced the tile screen, preferring to jump into the desktop environment. Microsoft's also been taking into account data that suggests most desktop users still use a keyboard and mouse.

According to The Verge , other changes in Update 1 include shutdown and search buttons on the Start Screen, the ability to pin Windows 8 apps on the desktop taskbar, and a new bar on the top of Metro apps that gives users the ability to minimize, close, and snap apps.

Still noticeably missing is the return of the Start menu. Microsoft brought back the Start button in Windows 8.1, but the Start menu is still a ghost of OSes past.

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