Windows 8.1 Isn't Fixing Anything

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Today, Paul Thurrot confirmed that Windows 8.1 was going to bring back the Start button, boot to the desktop, and use your desktop wallpaper as the Start background too.

Unfortunately, these do not fix (m)any of the user experience issues that have been brought up by a majority of the users.

The Start button is slightly less than obsolete (we're still clicking in the bottom left to bring up the Start screen, does it really matter if a button is there or if an icon shows up when our cursor is in the bottom left)?

I don't mind the desktop wallpaper being used as the Start background, but if this is listed as one of the three big changes, I am going to question what the developers are doing with their time.

Finally, the booting directly to desktop seems to be the centre of attention here, as it should be in comparison to the other confirmed updates. I think that this is a good step in the right direction, but I have a better idea for integrating Metro into our "classic Windows experience".

It's placing the Metro interface on the desktop, and giving us back a real Start menu.

Reasons why this is a great solution:
  1. Prevents users from incorrectly using their Desktop as their My Documents.
  2. Allows enterprise users to easily disable the "active desktop" Metro and let users just put a picture or a colour there instead.
  3. Decreases the learning curve as you're not constantly flipping in and out of this new interface, "hiding" what you were working on by having the screen covered - it's just a change to your Desktop that offers you the tablet experience on your PC, if you want it!
  4. Gives the demanding users their beloved Start menu back. This also allows you to search for something that is currently on your screen, without having to use your clipboard (ie: search for a strange file name).
  5. Consolidates the operating system into something that doesn't feel strange and segmented.

I think that re-purposing the desktop would be the best way to include Metro for the users who want it. It's a much better idea than removing the Start menu and creating this divided operating system, where one side doesn't really communicate with the other side too well.

Of course Metro would need some small changes to be purposed as an "active desktop", but that's my two cents.

Let me know what you think in the comments.


Aaron Bond contacted me with a mock-up of the idea, an idea we've apparently shared for a while. Click below for a larger "screenshot" of the vision, and check out Aaron's DeviantArt account here.