Rumor: Microsoft’s Windows 8.1 Update May Include Default Desktop Boot
It appears that Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is retreating even further from its original Windows 8 strategy with the upcoming Windows 8.1 update. According to The Verge, Microsoft is testing a Windows 8.1 update that will boot to desktop mode by default. This goes even further than the original Windows 8.1 release last year that gave users the option to bypass the unpopular Metro user interface.
According to The Verge’s unnamed “sources familiar with Microsoft’s plans,” the software giant is making the change in order to improve the operating system for keyboard and mouse users. Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system introduced the Metro tile interface that emphasized touchscreen input.
However, the unusual operating system was unpopular with many users who were accustomed to Windows 7 and found the tablet-friendly interface difficult to learn on a desktop. The criticisms eventually led to Microsoft returning the Start button in Windows 8.1. If The Verge’s sources are correct, it appears that Microsoft will be moving even further away from its original tile-oriented approach to its operating system.
On the other hand, the upcoming Windows 8.1 update will keep some aspects of the Metro user interface by allowing users to run Metro apps in a separate window while still in desktop mode. Although Microsoft has continued to expand its app selection, it is still much smaller than the number of iOS apps available in Apple’s (AAPL) vast app ecosystem. As noted by Softpedia, Microsoft users have about 142,000 Windows Store apps they can choose from compared to the approximately 1 million apps available to Apple’s iOS users.