OK, so the latest Windows 8.1 Update 1 rumors are out, and they’re reporting something nearly everybody who’s ever used a Windows 8 version of any kind on a PC already knew, be that version beta, 8.0, 8.1, or whatever — namely, that most users work from the desktop with a keyboard and a mouse, and couldn’t care less about the tiled, touch-friendly interface and the Windows Store apps that go with it. Here’s how Tom Warren at The Verge reports on what’s driving a major upcoming change to the Windows 8 UI in the upcoming next release for Windows 8.1 aka “Update 1:”
The Windows Store continues to grow with applications, but we understand that Microsoft has been paying close attention to telemetry data that shows the majority of Windows 8 users still use a keyboard and mouse and desktop applications. This same telemetry data was used to justify the removal of the Start button shortly before the Windows 8 release, and contributed to its eventual return in Windows 8.1. Microsoft may have wanted to push touch computing to the masses in Windows 8, but the reality is that users have voiced clear concerns over the interface on desktop PCs.
Other sources indicate that the next update being tested changes default system behavior to boot to the deskop, and to make Modern UI applications (and the tiled Start screen) available through explicit navigation. Also, as reported in many other places, it will be possible to run Modern UI apps inside windows on the desktop, and even to pin them to the taskbar just as with desktop applications since the Windows XP days.
Hence, my title for this blog post, which recalls the title of a once well-known 1979 Supertramp hit song in speculating on the basis for this possible change of course from Microsoft. Of course, it’s still not a done deal, and it will be interesting to see how it all pans out when Update 1 starts to become available to a wider range of users, be that on March 11 as current predictions claim, or through earlier leaks onto the Internet.