Why does Microsoft not want Windows 8 users to boot directly to Desktop!?

If rumors are to be believed, Microsoft is forcing the Metro interface or the ‘Windows 8 UI’ on the users of Windows 8. In the previous releases of Windows 8, users found a way to boot directly to desktop mode – thereby bypassing the metro user interface. Our Metro UI Tweaker allowed users to tweak the settings so as to land directly on the desktop. But this tweaker did not work in subsequent Windows 8 releases – as the setiing was removed.

The latest news about Microsoft Windows 8 show that the ability to run scripts that bypass the Start Screen has been removed. This means that there can be no desktop on Windows 8 as soon as you log in. You will first see the Start Screen and then have to use Windows key + D to go to the desktop – or use this simple tip of ours to land directly on the Windows 8 desktop. Probably, you can also use the Windows key + M key to minimize the tiles so that you can get to the desktop.

News from CNET says that Microsoft has removed the option to boot directly to desktop mode from the admin panel of user Group Policies. This means that even the admins cannot use group policies to change the default boot sequence. This makes sure that users will never get the desktop on Windows 8 directly upon booting.

My guess is that Microsoft is forcing the Windows 8 UI on users so that people who resist change can get a little time to interact with the tiles. This behavior of Windows 8 may attract people into using tiles instead of desktop mode. For many applications – Photoshop, Premiere, CorelDraw, etc – you will need the desktop until the software developers create app alternatives that can be placed directly on the metro user interface (not feasible in my opinion). In such cases, users can use the global key Windows + D to get to the desktop.

Microsoft has app equivalents of its Office software. It has now also opened the gates for developers to build applications based on Microsoft Office. While this move of letting users develop metro style apps based on Office is commendable, forcing users to go through the tiles each time they log in may create some discontent among the end users. At least, from what I read on different news sites, I can gather that people are quite angry about the no desktop on Windows 8 thing and many are planning to skip the upgrade and wait for better version of Windows.

Another possibility I see is that users will continue with Windows 7 until device manufacturers come up with touch based screens at reasonable costs. Currently, it is hard to find touch based navigation on PCs and notebooks. If Windows 8 is to be the future of operating systems from Microsoft, OEMs will sure start offering touch based devices in a year or two. By that time, the verdict will be pretty clear on Windows 8 and possibly, Microsoft may be working on Windows 9 or whatever they will call the successor of Windows 8.

Forcing users to go through the Windows 8 UI or Tiles interface (Microsoft is no longer calling it the Metro interface) is a clear attempt to make the users of Windows 8 focus on the Start Screen or Tiles – even if it is for few seconds. If this is to be considered a new style of marketing the Metro or Tile interface, would it not be feasible if users are also made to play Spider Solitaire or Minesweeper before they can log in?

I really wonder why Microsoft is not giving an option to the users to chose what they think is the best for them …

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Roger Dunning is a technology evangelist. He lives in New York with his wife and pet dog. You can find him 24×7 on the Internet.