Microsoft Confirms Boot to Desktop Changes in Windows 8.1 Update

Some devices will boot directly to desktop from the get-go, the company said

Windows 8.1 Update is just around the corner with lots of changes, but it turns out that Microsoft has prepared even more surprises for those who decide to upgrade their devices to this new OS version.

The company briefly said at the BUILD developer conference in San Francisco that “select devices will now boot to desktop as the default setting,” explaining that it has indeed made some tweaks to this particular feature of the operating system.

No other details have been provided, but given the rumors that have reached the web in the last few months, it’s easy to figure out what Microsoft is really trying to do.

Boot to desktop was officially introduced in Windows 8.1 as a way to help users skip the Start screen whenever they press the power button on their computers and thus let the desktop be the first thing they see when the operating system is fully loaded.

This particular feature was already available to consumers via some third-party applications, but Microsoft has implemented it in the operating system and used it as a way to show that it’s really listening to what people are saying.

In Windows 8.1 Update, on the other hand, Microsoft is taking this feature even further by turning it on by default on desktop computers. People familiar with the matter said a few months ago that Microsoft is considering giving manufacturers the option to enable this feature from the start, although such a plan was never confirmed by the software giant.

Now that select devices are booting to desktop as the default setting, it might seem like Microsoft has indeed decided to make PCs skip the Start screen without any change required from the user. Tablets, on the other hand, will continue to be welcomed with a Start screen.

The change is not at all surprising and at some level makes sense, even though lots of PC consumers have already gotten used to the Start screen. Seeing the desktop at boot is pretty helpful for those still using a mouse as the main input method, while providing tablet users with the touch-optimized Start screen is the logical choice.

The company hasn’t yet confirmed any other details beside what we told in the aforementioned statement, so we’ve reached out to a company spokesperson to find out more about the new boot to desktop option integrated into the newly-launched Windows 8.1 Update.

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