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.


  1. Jimmy

    Looking this move from a design perspective actually makes sense. Desktop works as another metro app on Windows 8 just like the others. So, it would be inconsistent to open a specific app during the log in. Wouldn’t be strange to open automatically eg. the Mail app every time you log in?

  2. Ferry Indrapratama

    Windows 8, designed to fail

  3. Sticking with Win7 on all my systems.
    Win8 which I have tested for my pc’s is stable but a pain in the ass to get around – especially in the technical end of things.
    I also like seeing my original desktop with my own icons, as the default view.
    I don’t like being bullied and when I am will resist even more so, such products!

    Stuff Windows 8!

  4. Bruce Epper

    Things don’t look too good for Microsoft. If they keep up with this pattern, I will have to start doing more work with various Linux distros so I will be up to speed for the mass migration of family, friends, and neighbors who will be leaving Windows in droves.

  5. Peeed Off

    Windows 8 is the new Windows ME….Doomed to failure…!!!

  6. Xaccell

    Is Microsoft trying to turn Windows into an ‘app’ OS, such as Android???? I hope not. I also think, like most, that Windows 8 is gonna be a flop just like Vista was. I just hope that they skip Windows 9 and go straight to Windows 10, or, like I hope they call it… Windows X.

  7. Joe Lawrence

    Another nail in the Win 8 coffin!

  8. No

    Microsoft. Making the rules and you WILL submit to them. Looks like it’s Ubuntu for my Asus slate!

  9. Barry Etheridge

    With the low cost of the upgrade and this I think MS has all but admitted defeat. Desktop users aren’t moving from W7 so all they’re left with is making it look like W8 was an alternative for Surface in particular and touch screens in general. Unfortunately for them it’s now way too late to be saving face!

  10. Dsdsdss

    I’ll never use windows 8 nor pay for it. Another one bites the dust…”Up there with windows Vista…FAIL FAIL FAIL AGAIN! Microsoft

  11. wallyma

    20 years with computers and i still cant get the “charms menu” to show up with whatever arcane mouse moves i’m supposed to do…i have to take my hands off the keyboard and flip the screen. I am always getting confused on how to do what with my mouse driven media PC and then my tablet..which is completely different ui interaction..right click anyone? i still havent found how to pin something to the taskboard with touch…AND IT SHOULDNT TAKE FIGURING. there is nothing more pleasant than trying to grab a little bar and drag horizontally when all your arm wants to do is arc across you body. dragging that damn long metro homescreen over and over to get to my programs is a godsend.

    And get this….AFTER DECADES OF PRACTICE.. ….they still cant get the stupid taskbar to hide and unhide realiably. And now you can add that screen keyboard to the mess..i cant tell you the issues i have had to get that to appear and disappear

    Even though I don’t have an alternative ( android is drving me crazy ..my bionic slowing and freezing eventually like it did on all the past generation phones and well, it would take THOUSANDS with expensive apple products to replicate my home system ) I AM GLAD TO SEE THEM FINALLY GOING DOWN.

  12. Vagablonde

    evry new comment I read about windows 8 moves me more distant from microsoft products.I dont own a cell phone..I know Gasp!
    so this phone concept on my desktop computer has no appeal to me at all.
    and I’m not certain if its true as I also dual boot Linux if it’s possible with win 8.
    and I hate hate hate having my choices forced on me!

  13. zepe

    What ever happened to, The customer is always right?

  14. Don’t like these features..

  15. Bobbintb

    Apple happened.

  16. Arun Kumar

    LOL> That’s what. Now we’ll scroll *right* and *left* in Win8. And yes, even the Print Preview and Reading View in MS Office 2013 moves document to *right* and *left* instead of top to bottom!!!
    With the kind of experiments they are doing, I am expecting new horizontal MS websites instead of a vertical scroll websites. 😀

  17. Arun Kumar

    Mayb they should rename this one to Tiles 1.0 for portable devices and continue with a new Windows 8 for desktops?

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