Windows Blue: Microsoft Admits Desktop 'Important'

Dennis Faas's picture

A top Microsoft executive has hinted that the Redmond, Washington-based firm may implement significant changes to Windows 8 with Windows Blue, the first major update to Microsoft's newest operating system (OS). Those changes could include making it easier for users to access the traditional desktop.

In a recent interview with the New York Times, Microsoft Windows business and marketing strategy chief Tami Reller (who replaced Steven Sinofsky last year) said that Microsoft was carefully evaluating the feedback it has received since the launch of Windows 8 in the fall.

"The Desktop is Important:" Reller

According to Reller, much of that feedback involves desktop functionality. She says that, as the firm works on its Windows Blue update, they continue to return to the topic of accessing key desktop features.

"We started talking about the desktop as an app," Reller said. "But in reality, for PC buyers, the desktop is important." (Source:

Reller also acknowledged the tidal wave of complaints about Windows 8's new user interface, formerly known as 'Metro'. She says that Microsoft has approached those comments "with an open mind," and don't plan to simply tell consumers to adapt or die.

"The learning curve [of Windows 8] is absolutely real, given the level of change," she told ABC News in a separate interview. "We can do work to address that. We see a lot of where customers could use some more help from us."

Windows Blue: Turning Back the Clock

Together, these comments have led many industry insiders to speculate that Microsoft will significantly overhaul how Windows 8 boots up.

Specifically, experts think it's possible that Windows Blue will allow Windows 8 users to completely bypass the new, touch-oriented user interface and directly access the traditional desktop layout. (Source:

It's also possible the firm will resurrect the traditional 'Start' button.

However, Reller also noted that Microsoft plans to use Windows Blue to extend its presence in the mobile world.

"Blue advances the Windows 8 vision," Reller said. "It's all about mobile, touch, apps, the new dev platform, and a highly personalized personal experience."

That could mean any number of things, but it's sentiment that may not be kindly received by people alienated by Windows 8's touch screen orientation.

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