vacancies advertise contact news tip The Vault
EPIC Competition in the run up to 2015 - win something everyday! [x]
facebook rss twitter

Code in leaked Windows 8.1 reveals boot to desktop option

by Mark Tyson on 16 April 2013, 09:54

Tags: Windows 8

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qabu4j

Add to My Vault: x

Microsoft’s Windows Blue (Windows 8.1 for PCs) update may well bring with it an option to boot straight to the desktop. This built-in option would be popular with a vociferous section of PC users who see the new Start Screen as inferior to the old Start Menu and don’t even want to see it once per reboot.

A Russian website called Microsoft Portal first revealed the “boot to desktop” code, which is found inside a system file called twinui.dll. These changes are seen in one of the recent leaked builds of Windows Blue/Windows 8.1. However if you have one of these test versions of Windows installed there is no switch or option in the control panel to make use of this feature or option at this time.

As you can see in the screenshot above the twinui.dll file has a parameter called "CanSuppressStartScreen". We might assume that exists to be passed an option such as TRUE or FALSE, via some kind of switch. If it was enabled a user would be able to boot straight to the desktop automatically.

In my own experience, on my desktop PC which has Windows 8 Pro installed, I think this would be a good option to include for Windows 8 users. However when my PC was freshly installed with Windows 8, with none of my favourite programs pinned to the taskbar or shortcuts on the desktop, at that time going straight to a blank, featureless desktop would have been pretty useless. So I can’t imagine the boot straight to desktop option being enabled as default behaviour for a fresh install.

Windows 8 sales performance, more analysis

An article on Computerworld yesterday quotes an analyst saying that the recent steep decline in PC sales wasn’t the fault of Windows 8. Stephen Baker of the NPD Group analysed data that his company collected for Q1 2013 and came to the conclusion “It wasn't about Windows 8, it was much more about the price challenges facing OEMs”. He added that “People want cheap touch devices, and that's where Windows 8 devices can't compete right now.”

Last week’s IDC report cited Windows 8 as a contributor to the slowdown in PC sales. However NPD say that the price of touch enabled hardware is the problem. Steven Baker said Apple Macs are also experiencing a similar downturn and “The market is flat, and no one is outperforming the others”.

Interestingly NPDs Mac sales data wasn’t in line with that collected by IDC and Gartner, there are 15 percentage points between the rival market research and analysis firms. However, as Computerworld reminds us, we will find out the true figures for first quarter Mac sales during Apple’s investor conference call on 23rd April.



HEXUS Forums :: 21 Comments

Login with Forum Account

Don't have an account? Register today!
Microsoft’s Windows Blue (Windows 8.1 for PCs) update may well bring with it an option to boot straight to the desktop. This built-in option would be popular with a vociferous section of PC users who see the new Start Screen as inferior to the old Start Menu and don’t even want to see it once per reboot.
This sums up my reaction to that first sentence -> Hallelujah, for the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth, Hallelujah! ... [youtube.com] (YouTube video)

And as to "would be popular with a vociferous section of PC users" you're damn straight! Nothing major against the start screen as a concept, but the fact that that in some cases you're reduced to mad clicking on screen estate to guess what you're supposed to do next, or - and this is worse - that it's not a complete replacement for the old desktop.

That said, my 11 year old daughter thinks MUI/Metro is great, and dad is "old fashioned" with Windows 7. Heck, she's such a fan that she's defected from Android to Windows Phone. :o
However when my PC was freshly installed with Windows 8, with none of my favourite programs pinned to the taskbar or shortcuts on the desktop, at that time going straight to a blank, featureless desktop would have been pretty useless.
Granted. On the other hand, what would be wrong with flipping the current arrangement around, so instead of getting MUI and being able to select the Desktop, you got a Desktop with a icon to show all apps, or a search box (my preferred option), or the ability to dive into MUI?
crossy
a(n) icon to show all apps


AKA the "Start" button.
8.1 is to just fix things that they didn't have time to fix or add probably because Sinofsky and his "tyranny" on the Windows division.

Is windows 8 to blame for a downfall of PC sales? No absolutely not, we're in a problem here because regardless of Windows 8 being what it is now.

If Windows 8 was another increment for desktop OSes then MS would clearly be under fire from every tech blog saying "Tablets and mobile devices are the way forward for consumer devices, why is MS making software for traditional PCs when the market is declining". Since Windows 8 is what it is today (a Frankenstein experiment, it's literally two OSes in one), tech blogs will blame that MS has become irrelevant.

What to consider is the overall market, 2-3 years ago, people wanted laptops as they did pretty much everything. For those people who bought laptops 2-3 years ago, are still using that laptop to this day and have no need to purchase a new one. PC sales are going down because they were at a high point and now they're starting to level back off. Remember some laptops used to be in the £300-£400 range, that's now the range for tablets and a consumer who already owns a laptop/pc would prefer picking up a tablet because it's a new experience.

Unfortunately for what Windows 8 is, there is a negative perception from just the overall media, they think it's another vista because they believe in the "good, bad" pattern alongside comments made by developers like notch and gaben, who weren't talking about the OS's performance and stability but more about ideals about an open platform.

There is negative perception in my family around Windows 8, I had my older brother ask if windows 8 was sh*t, which is the one thing that many people believe, which doesn't make sense, since it's technically Windows 7 with extra features added, so if you did get a new PC you can use it like Windows 7 90% of the time (the 10% being any metro notifications) if people wished to.

I do believe MS did not explain Windows 8 well enough to users, I have not tested this with others, I've gotten positive responses regarding how metro looks in windows 8 from people that don't know what it is but from people using windows 8, I've found out they don't know how to use the newer features. This is however on traditional laptops, on a touch tablet based system it would be more intuitive however these cost a fortune when you compare the price against Android tablets like the Note 10.1 which can be purchased from £250-£320 depending on where you shop.

Both parties are at fault here, MS and OEMs. MS has done a good job on seeing the future but they're too far into the future, they need to take a step back as people are not this quick enough to embrace metro. For an OS like Windows 8, it needs great hardware which unfortunately the OEMs haven't been doing a great job in reaching the £300-£500 market. I would purchase a surface pro(if it was out) or an smart pc pro or aspire s7, because they are laptop replacements however to the average consumer it's too much for what they believe is a tablet. Also instore sales assistant factor as well, Windows 8 shines when a users personal information is put into and customised, but when demonstrating a stock out of the box experience, it doesn't translate that well.
Microsoft should have given the user a choice in the first place with the default being the Metro interface, or whatever the hell they call it now. During initial use there should have been a quick tutorial informing users how to navigate the new interface and how to change back to the desktop should they want to.

Giving users a choice is a far better option than simply taking features away and saying this is the way forward like it or lump it.
Waiting for windows 9 - code name Windows 7 2014 :)