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Windows Blue update may include a traditional desktop option


April 16, 2013

The Windows 8.1 update may allow users to bypass the controversial Start Screen UI

The Windows 8.1 update may allow users to bypass the controversial Start Screen UI

A new rumor suggests that an upcoming update for Windows 8 will allow users to bypass the controversial tile-based Start menu, creating a more traditional Windows experience.

Uptake of Redmond's latest operating system hasn't exactly been record breaking, with many users lamenting Microsoft's new direction for the OS. By far the most prominent criticism relates to the “Metro” UI and its touch-centric design that's not ideally suited to traditional mouse and keyboard navigation, and lacks the volume and variety of apps required to make it a must-have feature.

It sounds like Microsoft may be listening to these criticisms, with sources familiar with the company's plans telling The Verge that the upcoming 8.1 update (known as Windows Blue) will include an option to bypass the Start Screen at boot. The feature is thought to be disabled by default, but will give users the choice of minimizing their time in the new UI. Lines of code were also found in a leaked version of the update that strongly hint at the potential change.

While the ability to bypass the Start Screen would prove popular with users, its unlikely that the update will fully restore a traditional Start menu, with the hot corner functionality of the current version remaining in place. Still, it might be enough to encourage skeptics to pick up/upgrade to the OS, and with PC shipments declining at their fastest rate ever, that can only be a good thing.

Sources: The Verge, WinBeta

About the Author
Chris Wood Chris specializes in mobile technology for Gizmag, but also likes to dabble in the latest gaming gadgets. He has a degree in Politics and Ancient History from the University of Exeter, and lives in Gloucestershire, UK. In his spare time you might find him playing music, following a variety of sports or binge watching Game of Thrones. All articles by Chris Wood

About time

Mike Hamilton

They will see a sales bump.


I'll stick with Windows 7, thanks.

Jon A.

Yeah that was a terrible idea. Why put a touch screen interface on a non-touch screen computer?


Or, you could just install Classic Shell on your current Win 8 install...

Mr T

Nope, Waiting for them to come to their senses in the mean time I hope they do it before I just fully adopt Ubuntu.

Carl Lewis

You might as well then just stick with Windows 7!!

Ian Kitney

Windows 8 has efficiency improvements over Windows 7, making it about 10% faster overall. That's enough for me to upgrade.

Personally I enjoy the new Start window, but it would be nice to have a traditional Start menu as well. The Windows key can take me to the new Start window. I may manually add a Start menu type thing myself..

Michael Good

I agree that the combination of WIN 8 speed and the Classic Shell interface is THE way to go.

David Fahey

About time ..... and HURRY ....!!!!


@Carl Lewis

Ubuntu moved to a crippled UI more suited for mobile and alienated their customer base back before it was cool.


Windows 8 has some useful new features.

But I won't upgrade until there is an option to use a different UI.


I'm sure if Apple had released the exact same, people would've been all over it just because it has the Apple logo.

Sambath Pech
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