Big smiles everyone, next Windows 8.1 update may boot to desktop by default

Windows 8.1 Metro
Metro might not be the first thing Windows 8.1 users see anymore

It looks like the first Windows 8.1 update won't just let users add desktop shortcuts to Metro apps but also allow users to skip the tiled interface entirely.

The Verge has it on good authority from sources familiar with Microsoft's plans that Windows 8.1 will boot to the desktop, bypassing the Metro splash screen.

The current version of Windows 8.1 already has a concealed boot-to-desktop, however it seems this small change will do so by default.

Apparently the interface reversal is being done to improve the OS for keyboard and mouse users. As Many PC users using old inputs will attest, Windows 8 was originally meant for tablets and touchscreen computers.

More importantly, this change reverses parts of Microsoft's original vision for Windows 8 to live primarily in the Metro environment.

Pedaling backwards

This isn't the first time Microsoft reintroduced a feature converting Windows 8.1 back into a traditional PC operating system. Windows 8.1 was released to fix issues including the missing start button among 15 other annoyances.

Next up, Update 1 is expected to hail in pinning Metro apps to the task bar, title bar buttons to minimize and close Metro apps, as well as adding shutdown and search buttons onto the Start Screen.

This is just the start when the 8.1 update is expected to rollout for Patch Tuesday on March 11. Microsoft wants desktop purists to come back and its rumored that Windows 9 will be an even greater return to form with the Start Menu.

Early reports see potential Windows 9 details will come complete with windowed Metro apps at Microsoft's Build developers conference in April. We can't wait to get reacquainted with our Windows Desktop, but stay tuned for more updates as we hear them.

  • Why does Windows 8.1 still need fixing? Find out in our review.
Kevin Lee

Kevin Lee was a former computing reporter at TechRadar. Kevin is now the SEO Updates Editor at IGN based in New York. He handles all of the best of tech buying guides while also dipping his hand in the entertainment and games evergreen content. Kevin has over eight years of experience in the tech and games publications with previous bylines at Polygon, PC World, and more. Outside of work, Kevin is major movie buff of cult and bad films. He also regularly plays flight & space sim and racing games. IRL he's a fan of archery, axe throwing, and board games.