Microsoft: emphasis on Start Screen shackled Windows 8

"We of course still have the desktop and have all the apps there. I get asked 'is there an iTunes app' - well there kind of is, because iTunes works just as it always has done on the desktop. Use that, or Spotify or whatever.

"The other key thing is that Internet Explorer 10 enables you to pin sites to the Start screen, so you can use that to access many web apps. Because it's full screen, you kind of don't know it's not a [separate] app - the BBC iPlayer is a case in point, just pin the site to your Start screen.

"What I don't think we should be doing is starting [people] off saying the Windows 8 Start screen is where you should spend your entire life and forget about the desktop because most people don't want to do that. In some ways it's the other way around.

"Start with what they know, install all the applications that they know they like and that work, and gradually start saying 'yes, I can see how these apps can be useful to me'."

IE 10

Moulster says pinning sites to the Start screen is the way to go

Windows 8.1 on the way

We ask about Windows Blue and whether it points the way towards eventually getting rid of the desktop. Moulster tells us: "To be honest I don't have an answer because I don't know. I'm loathe to speculate. It seems highly unlikely to me. I haven't seen anything either way. I'd be surprised, but that's my personal view."

"I think it's a continuation of us always building on what's there. Windows 8 is built on Windows 7 and starts from where Windows 7 stops, and I don't think there will be a change to that approach. We'd be crazy to throw anything away.

"But what form that takes we'll have to wait and see I suppose. I think we have said that we'll be releasing updates more frequently, but precisely what that means I don't know. There's the apps as well, we've released plenty of updates to our apps."

We make the point to Moulster that much of the problem with the reaction to Windows 8 is actually around expectations rather than actual issues with the OS. "You're correct," he says. "It's more of a perception than an actual issue. Yeah, sure, we want to have more apps in the store and I'm sure we will, but there are a lot of things you can do that people don't realise you can do and it's our job [to tell people].

"So a lot of it will be, the more people are using Windows 8 the more people will talk about it, so people will say 'I'm using this tool, I didn't know you can do that' - it will catch on, that peer thing. But it will take time.

"The comments you make aren't surprising to an extent, it's just that we need to work out how best to address it. I think the product does a lot, if not all, the things people want it to do. It's about us being clear about how to achieve that without spending one-on-one time with everybody! These [public] shows are good because people come and most of them don't have an axe to grind at all; they just want to know how to use it. Spend five minutes with them and they say it makes sense to them and they understand it.

Windows Blue

Windows Blue is coming, featuring IE11

Helping people to choose a Windows 8 PC

Is there an issue with having too much choice with Windows 8 laptops and Windows 8 tablets? "I think we've got a job to do on the choice part as well. Choice is a good thing but then people get confused by it, so you've got to help them figure out what they're looking for and what they need. The line we've taken with it is that you can pick the ideal PC for you, which might not be the right PC for somebody else.


Dan (Twitter, Google+) is TechRadar's Former Deputy Editor and is now in charge at our sister site Covering all things computing, internet and mobile he's a seasoned regular at major tech shows such as CES, IFA and Mobile World Congress. Dan has also been a tech expert for many outlets including BBC Radio 4, 5Live and the World Service, The Sun and ITV News.