Microsoft Subnet An independent Microsoft community View more

RTM builds of Windows 8 reveal Microsoft blocked any bypassing of the Metro desktop

You're going to use the don't-call-it-Metro UI on Windows 8 whether you like it or not.

The final build of Windows 8 has already leaked to torrent sites, which is giving the propellerheads a chance to dig through the code. One revelation will probably not sit well with enterprise customers: you can't bypass the don't-call-it-Metro UI.

Normally, you have to boot Windows 8 and when the tiled desktop UI (formerly known as Metro) came up, you had to click on one of the boxes to launch Explorer. Prior builds of Windows 8 allowed the user to create a shortcut so you bypass Metro and go straight to the Explorer desktop.

RELATED: PC makers 'not thrilled' with Windows 8, holding off on tablets

Source confirms Microsoft abandoned Metro due to trademark gaffe

Rafael Rivera, co-author of the forthcoming Windows 8 Secrets, confirmed to Mary Jo Foley at ZDNet that Microsoft does indeed block the boot bypass routine from prior builds.

He also believes that Microsoft has blocked the ability for administrators to use Group Policy to allow users to bypass the tiled startup screen. There had been hope that Microsoft would at least relent and let corporate users have a bypass, if only for compatibility’s sake.

I simply can't get over the string of bad moves with Windows 8. It's one thing to copy Apple's we-know-what's-best-for-you mindset, but you better actually know what's best for users in order to back it up. The Not-Metro UI might be great for tablets, but the transition on PCs for the next few years is going to be an awful mess.

Microsoft has taken away the UI people know, crippled it with the removal of the Start button and minimize/maximize/close buttons, and put in its place a UI that looks like it was designed by a 10-year old. My Amiga 3000 from 20 years ago had a more advanced UI (and in some ways it still does. Boy do I miss that thing), but more important, it's confusing and people can get easily lost. Don't forget the survey that found half of Windows 8 beta testers wouldn't recommend it to a friend.

Windows XP still holds half of the market. Enterprises are still getting around to rolling out Windows 7. Those companies are not going to touch a brand new operating system to begin with, especially one that makes such a radical departure.

I've argued that people should be weaned into the UI-formerly-known-as-Metro, but Microsoft has decided to force us. We'll see who is proven correct.

Editors' Picks
Join the discussion
Be the first to comment on this article. Our Commenting Policies