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Yes, Microsoft should hide the Metro screen by default

I just finished reading Mary Jo Foley’s recent post where she believes it would be a mistake for Microsoft to hide the Metro screen by default when a user logs in.

This is related to the new batch of leaks about Windows 8.1 Update 1.

Her interesting comment:

If Microsoft did make skipping the Metro Start screen a default option, the company would give developers even less of a reason to write Windows Store/Metro Style apps. Yes, the ability to pin Metro Style apps to the desktop task bar is supposedly part of Windows 8.1 Update 1, as has been reported previously. But if users don’t have incentive to seek out Metro Style apps from the get-go, why bother?

I agree with what she says about the default option being a huge disincentive to developers but at this point, I think the ship has sailed anyway.

The fact that Microsoft is bothering to make such drastic updates indicates means that they understand Windows 8.x has severe problems. The kind of problems that just aren’t really salvageable.

Ultimately, I feel that Microsoft are really just putting a bandaid on this cancer knowing full well that the patient is done for anyway.

The real challenge now is Windows 9.

I disagree with the recent speculation that Windows 9 isn’t going to have major changes and people shouldn’t hope for much. Windows 9 will have to be radically different from Windows 8 while maintaining the features we expect from a Windows OS.

Basically Windows 9 will be Microsoft’s second try to improve Windows 7.

Some of the big challenges ahead will be how to make those changes and simultaneously somehow preserve all the R&D that went into the Windows 8 infrastructure (Tiles, HTML5, CSS3, development, apps). It’s a lot of work to figure out and I think that’s why Microsoft may ultimately choose Satya Nadella.

Windows is a big deal and the next CEO will have to roll up their sleeves and get into the weeds on this one. The last time a CEO entrusted Windows to an exec (Sinofsky), that executive broke it. I believe no other executive will ever have such control over the Windows vision again.

If the next CEO is smart, he will make sure that he gets lots of eyeballs on the beta of Windows 9 and pays close attention to feedback. To be fair, they had TONS of eyeballs on Windows 8 but difference is, they ignored most of the obvious glitches.

So back to the main topic, yes I think Microsoft should hide the Metro screen as a default, users want their Windows back and Microsoft has bigger problems to worry about.

What do you think? Use the comments below.

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