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.
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