The fate of the tried and tested Windows desktop has remained in the balance ever since the release of Windows 8 with its Metro (or Modern) centered user interface.
They have been few and far between, but some recent reports have suggested that Microsoft may kill off the desktop completely in one of the upcoming versions of Windows — particularly as the software titan intends to increase its focus on the Metro UI.
But while we do know that the company is adding new features to Metro, Microsoft is quite likely to stick with the desktop in the next (few) versions of Windows. It is, after all, the most familiar working environment for millions of users the world over.
Nothing official from Microsoft in this regard, but a high-ranking company executive explains that Windows 8.1 is very likely to keep the desktop, contrary to recent reports.
Talking to TechRadar, Ian Moulster, the Windows Product Manager shed some light on things:
“To be honest I don’t have an answer because I don’t know. I’m loathe [sic] to speculate. It seems highly unlikely to me. I haven’t seen anything either way. I’d be surprised, but that’s my personal view.
I think it’s a continuation of us always building on what’s there. Windows 8 is built on Windows 7 and starts from where Windows 7 stops, and I don’t think there will be a change to that approach. We’d be crazy to throw anything away.”
The executive stopped shy of providing any further details on the upcoming update. And while it may just be his personal opinion, fact remains that Microsoft would be crazy to throw anything away, as he said — particularly as vitally important a thing as the desktop.
Maybe on Windows RT in the near future, but desktop versions of the OS are in the clear.
That said, the upcoming Windows 8.1 upgrade is said to feature a number of enhancements, not just to the Metro experience, but also the traditional desktop environment. It will be interesting to see everything that makes the cut in the final release.