Windows 8 'Metro' Interface Unavoidable: Report

Dennis Faas's picture

Microsoft has made a change to the final edition of its new Windows 8 operating system (OS).

According to a new report, the change forces users who prefer Windows' traditional desktop layout to use the system's new interface (formerly known as 'Metro') every time the new OS boots up. This requirement could represent a major irritant for many Windows users.

The most significant change in Windows 8 is the new user interface. It's a much different design featuring very large icons known as 'tiles,' and has already become fairly popular among users of Windows-based smartphones.

Microsoft originally called this new look "Metro," although that name now appears to have been dropped for legal reasons.

Windows 8 RTM Shows Start Screen Changes

The orientation toward large tiles appears designed to make Windows more accessible on touchscreen devices. Analysts have criticized Microsoft for giving these devices too much priority, compared with PCs.

However, Microsoft has been mollifying potential users of Windows 8 by saying they will still be able to access the traditional desktop design, with its familiar small icons, 'start' menu, and taskbar.

Microsoft has now begun shipping the Release to Manufacturing (RTM) edition of Windows 8, the finished copy of the operating system that PC makers will install on machines prepped for sale in October, when Windows 8 gets its long-awaited public release.

Copies of the RTM edition of Windows 8 have leaked online, allowing journalists to discover exactly what final changes have been made to the new OS.

No Way to Avoid Interface Formerly Known as "Metro"

In previous beta editions, users could manually create a shortcut that allowed a computer to bypass the new interface.

It now appears, however, that this option has been disabled in the RTM version of Windows 8, leaving no way to avoid the new interface when Windows 8 starts. (Source:

Users who want to run Windows 8 with the traditional Windows interface will apparently be forced to start their computers using the new interface, then press the 'Windows' key and the 'D' key together to engage the old interface.

While this should mean only a couple of seconds delay, it's an extra step likely to annoy people who either need or want to use Windows as it was originally designed.

It's possible that home users who use the new system will simply learn to live with the new interface.

However, corporate buyers often wait before upgrading to the newest Windows OS. If they hear complaints about Windows 8's interface, they may decide not to upgrade until a change is made, and that could present problems for Microsoft. (Source:

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