Boy, the Windows Server 2012 R2 hit the MSDN portal just in the nick of time. We are mere hours away from the official debut of Windows 8.1 Preview at the BUILD developer conference.
But this release of Windows Server 2012 R2 yesterday has provided us with early glimpses of several of the new features of the upcoming operating system.
In additional to a revamped Metro experience that includes a Start button and new Live Tile size options, the new OS will also include settings to boot directly to desktop — and thereby completely skipping past the Start screen.
Rumors of this feature have been circling the web for a few months now.
And a few photos even confirmed this option. But as can be seen in this screenshot, this feature is indeed part of Windows Server 2012 R2, meaning there is a strong chance that it will make the cut in the Windows 8.1 Preview as well.
Additionally, there are also options and dedicated settings to show Start on the main display at the press of the Windows key on the keyboard, automatically show the Apps view when launching Start, as well as the ability to list desktop apps first in the Apps view when it is sorted by category.
It appears that Microsoft is bent on providing the best of both worlds in Windows 8.1 — the desktop world and the universe that is powered by the Metro UI.
Expect more details on this unveiled tomorrow at the BUILD conference.