Microsoft is working on a new update to Windows 8 that reverses course in the way it thinks about user interfaces in the operating system.
According to anonymous leaker Wzor, who has an excellent track record leaking Microsoft products, Windows 8’s next update will boot into desktop mode by default. The Verge confirmed Wzor’s report with its own sources.
Right now, Windows 8 is essentially two operating systems in one. There’s the tile menu, the touch-friendly interface that acts as the new “Start” menu in Windows 8. It works best on tablets and other touchscreen devices. There’s also desktop mode, which looks like the traditional Windows desktop we’ve been using for decades. Microsoft released an update last year called Windows 8.1 that gave users the option to boot directly into desktop mode, but tile mode was still the default. The upcoming update will now make desktop mode the default.
Keep in mind the update isn’t finished yet, so there’s always a chance Microsoft will change its mind.
This may seem like a tiny change, but it represents a significant shift in Microsoft’s thinking about Windows 8. At first, users got the tile menu by default. Many found that frustrating, especially on a traditional desktop or laptop that requires a keyboard and mouse. If the new update boots Windows into desktop mode by default, you can take that as Microsoft’s admission that its touch-friendly menu isn’t useful for most PCs running the operating system.
There’s also been talk recently about the next major release of Windows, Windows 9. It’s supposed to launch in 2015 and include even more user interface improvements.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.