Back when Windows 8 was first made available as a Developer Preview, Microsoft incorporated the ability to boot straight to the desktop instead of jumping into the Modern Start Screen interface. Once the Consumer Preview rolled around, however, that power was unceremoniously yanked out of the code.
People have complained about it ever since.
In fact, it’s one of the reasons why Windows 8 might not be doing so well; the issue seems to be serious enough that Microsoft is thinking about rolling back one of the most upsetting changes – the lack of a proper Start button for desktop modes, and the ability to boot straight into said mode.
It wouldn’t be the first time the company has gone back on its change – widespread vitriol over the way user account control (UAC) worked in Windows Vista led to a UAC overhaul for Windows 7.
According to some digging done by the Polish site Microsoft Portal, which was then picked up by Neowin, there is code buried within the recently leaked copies of Windows Blue / Windows 8.1 that may give users the ability to ‘suppress’ the current start screen. The feature is currently disabled, but it’s something that Microsoft could turn on for the next release.
The internal waffling on the issue was further corroborated by ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley, whose anonymous source seems to think that anything could happen, right up until it ships.
We still aren’t sure when Windows Blue / Windows 8.1 will ship, but a good bet is sometime in late summer or fall.
Can’t wait until then? Check out our article on how to bring the Start button back to Windows 8 right now!