So, Windows 8.1 Update 1 is floating around the internet, and it shows off many, many changes to the Metro interface that attempt to make Windows 8 less painful for desktop users. If you will remember, With Windows 8, Microsoft introduced the most radical change in the look and operation of Windows EVER, and few of the changes were welcomed by it's users.
Since the backlash and poor sales of Windows 8, Microsoft hass been stuggling with getting users to accept the new interface. Some manufacturers like Dell, still offer new machines with Windows 7 as an option, just to avoid sales losses from consumers who can't stand Windows 8. And as the end of the year came, and the hottest app on the Windows App store was one that put the Start Menu back, it was time Microsoft admitted that trying to force users of Desktop PC's to use their computers like a touchscreen tablet was not going to work anymore.
So What are the changes in Update 1? Most notable, the system now boots to the Desktop Interface by DEFAULT. In 8.1, an option was included to allow you to set the system to boot to the desktop, but in Update 1, boot is directly to the desktop by default. In addition, a power button was added to the Metro interface (Thank God), meaning no more having to move your mouse to the lower right corner of the screen, click settings, then power then Off/Restart/Etc.. Now, you have a power button right on the page in Metro. Also, Metro apps can now be "Minimized", pointing to the potential that Metro apps will FINALLY be able to be used in the Desktop interface as well. The primary thing that keeps me from using most Windows apps is that I live in a desktop world, and you never see them. You HAVE to go to the Awful Metro Interface to access the Apps for Windows, and you can only use them in the Metro environment. That looks to change with Update 1.
And for those with High Resolution displays, REJOICE. Microsoft is finally including UI scaling options: 200%, 250%, and Custom (up to 500%). So finally everyone who has a Lenovo, Dell or Samsung laptop with a High Res display, it will actually be usable now.
All of these changes are actually welcome, and consumers have been pleading for them since the launch of Win 8. Microsoft's stubborn attempt to force an ecosystem change has failed, and they are essentially admitting defeat. Booting to the desktop interface is a MAJOR change of direction for Microsoft. I am not saying that the market doesn't need to adapt and change. But changes to interface that are as drastic as Metro, need to be handled with care and timing, to gradually push or pull users into the new interface, instead of forcing them. It is nice to see these changes being implemented to make Windows tolerable again. With all the changes between 8.1 and it's newest Update, I cannot wait to see Windows 9 when it is unveiled next year.