In a bid to revive its tarnished image to online users, Microsoft teased geeks and techies on Wednesday by releasing a preview version of an update to Windows 8, seeking to address some of the gripes people have been throwing at the company’s flagship operating system.
At a conference in San Francisco, Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer admits that the company pushed hard for people to adapt a radical new tile-based “modern” user interface for its Windows 8 OS. The company is now backtracking, integrating parts of the older “desktop” interface to make it easier for users.
“Let’s make it easier to start applications the way we’re used to,” Ballmer tells the audience, mostly comprised of software developers. “What we will show you today is a refined blend of our Desktop experience and our Modern experience.”
Microsoft gave the tech buffs a preview of the Windows 8.1 as a free download.
One of the features on the OS update is allowing users to boot up in Desktop mode. There, they’ll find a button that resembles the old, familiar Start button. Pushing the button, though, won’t take users to the old Start menu8, but rather, to the new “Modern” Windows 8 start screen.
Although the re-introduction of the familiar Start button could make it easier for longtime Windows users to get accustomed to the changes, they still have to face the challenge of memorizing gestures and invisible click zones that operate the “Modern” tile-based Windows 8.