OPERATING SYSTEM CHURNER Microsoft appears to be accelerating its backpedaling on the widely maligned 'Metro' tiled interface in Windows 8.1.
The latest screenshots leaked by Russian blogger Wzor, who has form for reliable leaks, show that the upcoming Windows 8.1 update will boot to the Windows desktop by default, with the newer Modern or 'Metro' interface accessed through the crippled Start button Microsoft added to Windows 8.1 after a revolt by Windows users.
Wzor's leak also suggests that Microsoft will move the shutdown and hibernate options to the tiled interface, so hopes of avoiding it completely are dashed once more.
There is mounting evidence that Microsoft is trying to incorporate its heavily hyped tiled interface more smoothly into the Windows operating system in future releases, with a goal of full integration in Windows 9.
In the interim, the screenshots show what appears to be a minimise button, suggesting that Metro apps will minimise to the desktop. This would mark a significant step forwards, or backwards, depending on your point of view, from the lipstick on a pig hybrid that has seen Windows 8.x critically mauled and rejected by Windows users.
Microsoft did not comment on the leak, but we might see some news about the Windows 8.1 update at the Microsoft Build conference in San Francisco this April, perhaps leading to a summer release.
The Windows 8.1 update leaks are starting to come thick and fast, and don't seem to be contradicting each other, adding to the evidence that Microsoft has been forced to rethink its strategy for its flagship PC operating system as its market share continues to shrink. µ