The buzz among the bees, the word on the street is that Windows 8.1 Update 1 has finally leaked. Finally, in the sense that those with the power to leak the ISOs promised this sometimes after January 14, after Microsoft sent out the test version to more partners.

Anyway, since this refresh of Windows 8.1 is reportedly on track for a March release, the software titan is now smack in the middle of the testing phase.

Hence various test builds are reaching the web, and in the words of WZOR, a new version has leaked moments ago. Strings are attached — you will need to search for build string Windows 8.1 Update 1 Build 9600.16606 if you want to download this early flavor.

And if you do you will find that the boot to desktop option is now configured on by default.

Users that install this new version of the operating system will now skip Metro entirely once they start their PCs. And if they want to access the Start Screen, they will be required to click the Start Button.

A trivial change that alludes to something big at play, perhaps?

We will know for sure once this version makes its debut sometimes in March. In the meantime, expect a volley of screenshots to hit the web soon, now that the leaked copies are making their way up.

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  1. This is not a good move at all. The people who want to boot to desktop already have it set to do that. Why make everyone else have to go back in and change their settings back to the way they had them. IF people don’t want to use Metro, it should be up to these to change it or something should pop up the first couple times they go to desktop asking if they want to boot to desktop.

    • Best thing they could ever do…hopefully the silly Metro screen will be removed entirely by the time it is released.

      • If you think that yo’re dreaming. If you get rid of Metro, you don’t have a new OS. You just have Windows 7 re-branded. They’re not getting rid of Metro. It’s silly to keep calling for something that will never happen. The more Windows 8 share increases, the more people will get used to the tile-based interface.

      • That’s not going to happen. You can thank Google and Apple for the business model behind the metro interface. This has now become standard industry practice.

        • Actually if that were true, you wouldn’t see that they have already restored the desktop as the boot default. Productivity requires mouse and keyboard, not a pretty poke and play interface.

          • What I mean is though you may be able to boot directly to the desktop now, the Metro interface isn’t going anywhere. The driving force behind the Metro interface is not only touch screens, but the app store. Google and Apple make buckets full of money from the fees and royalties they charge for software distributed through their stores. MS, in order to survive, has jumped on that business model now too.

      • App store is here to stay. Touch screen will replace regular monitor. Tablet to replace laptop. Hoping to go back to your good old day will not happen. Time to move on and learn new thing.

        • Tablet will never replace desktop for actual work. Maybe for poking around Facebook and reading email, but nothing more productive than that.

          • Tablet with keyboard attached will replace laptop and in turn will replace desktop. Of course, I am not talking about Android, iOS or even windows RT. Also, You will need a large monitor as well. But definitely, you seldom need a full power desktop unless you are a hard core gamer or IT wizard.

          • So people doing video editing, graphic design, 3D rendering, audio mixing, etc….we don’t qualify as needing a powerful desktop? I’m not sure what world you’re in. The future is not tablets.

          • Among 1-2 billion computer users worldwide, those who still uses desktop are just considered as niche market in the future. There are companies still using DOS programs. Some ATM still uses OS2. But I won’t consider those will stop the trend. Mobile computing is the future. Tablet is one of the components. Pure desktop usage will be less and less.
            Another example is electronic payment system will replace real cash for daily purchase. It’s happening around the world. Does it mean no one uses real cash? Not really. But people will carry less cash or even no cash in their pocket.

          • You forget the corporate environment. There will be a need for desktop computers in the corporate, educational and institutional environments for some time to come yet. Mobile devices will also be used in the them but will only complement them, not replace them. There are too many limits to mobile devices to be able to switch to them completely in those environments. Security, durability, maintenance, cost, reliability, to name a few.

          • The only one I found absolutely need a desktop is servers. Schools are moving to tablets. Some Colleges even give out tablets to their students. Do you know how many times in the office a junior needs to ask senior to walk to their desk to show the problem they face while using their computers. With tablet-based environment, they could take their tablets to meeting. They could take their tablets with them when they have a question. Corp is slow to change but doesn’t mean they don’t need mobile computing.

  2. I expect there to be multiple versions depending on the form factor. Tablets will boot to metro. Laptops and desktops will boot to desktop. Both will keep metro and Windows Store Apps, though.

    • Yeah, this is a possibility too. A self aware operating system that makes the distinction during setup based on whether a user has touch capabilities on their PC or device.

  3. I still say Metro is what Microsoft wants to be the future. If you automatically don’t go to Metro, you’re not helping yourself in that regard. I’m sure in Windows 9 this won’t be the case. Metro 2.0 will be the default. And I don’t want the OS auto-detecting that type of device I’m using. Just because I’m on a laptop or desktop, I don’t need to automatically sending me to desktop. It’s a simple check of a box. Are you really that held back by having to check a box to enable boot to desktop?

    • Some probably are, that would explain Microsoft’s decision behind it. Still, it’s just an early leaked version, who knows, it could just be for testing and measuring user opinion. It may or may not be included in the final update that arrives in March.

  4. Oh god, the “OMG I AM TOO DUMB TO SURVIVE WITHOUT A START BUTTON” crowd is starting to win the message. Can you guys please go to Linux or ayeApple?

    • Microsoft sure is going the extra mile to please the desktop crowd, I’ll say. Let’s just hope it reserves enough improvements for the Start Screen to cater to both environments.

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