Windows 8.1 Won't Fix Problems Users Care About Most
NEWS ANALYSIS: There are a lot of nice changes coming with the next iteration of Windows, but the changes you really want aren't among them.The good news is that there's finally a refresh of Windows 8 coming down the pike, as eWEEK's Pedro Hernandez explains. The bad news is that the changes you almost certainly want won't be there. Yes, Microsoft is bringing back the Start Button, but the Start Menu that lives behind it on all previous versions of Windows won't be there. Instead the Start Button will simply lead you to the Start Screen, that tiled interface you probably don't like. While Microsoft is planning to make Windows 8 more mouse-and-keyboard friendly with version 8.1, it's still going to be a touch-screen interface jammed into a mouse-and-keyboard environment. If you don't like the Windows 8 interface now, this isn't going to be your salvation. Microsoft's Windows Program Management Vice President Antoine Leblond explained in his rundown of Windows 8.1 features that the new version of Windows will be able to boot into alternate screens, but the only screen he actually mentioned was the screen that shows the icons of available applications, which is what you see when you invoke the Search charm in the current iteration of Windows 8. He specifically does not say you will be able to boot directly into the Desktop.
This brings us back to the Start Button. What people liked about the Start Button in Windows 7, which had reached a nicely refined stage, wasn't the button itself. It was the Start Menu, which allowed users to go directly to the applications they wanted quickly and conveniently.