Microsoft has updated its Building Windows 8 blog again, and this time, it’s talking about changes to the boot process. With Windows 8 focused on bringing tablets into the fray, it’s no surprise that elements of the boot process have been optimized for touch-based input. They’ve also been given a Metro-style makeover, which is at least a visual improvement over current text-based boot options that look straight outta DOS. Take it away, Billie Sue:
Windows 8 has a nifty new interface that manages booting from multiple operating systems, and it’s possible to tweak your boot preferences without even loading the OS. Users with UEFI-equipped motherboards will be able to use this screen to boot from removable devices like optical discs or USB thumb drives. Access to the Windows Recovery Environment has also been built into the interface, which offers gateways to System Restore, image recovery, and a command prompt with a tablet-friendly software keyboard.
One of the more interesting changes with the new boot process is what users will actually see on their screens. Although this feature doesn’t seem to be available with BIOS-based systems, Windows 8 will allow UEFI splash screens to remain front and center until the operating system’s login screen is ready. Instead of watching a Windows loading screen, users will see whatever collection of logos and (hopefully) tasteful graphics their tablet, notebook, or motherboard makers have chosen to display.
Disabling the default splash screen, which is often painfully ugly and typically provides no useful information about the boot process, is one of the first things I do when setting up a new system. As long as that’s still an option with Windows 8, I think I could get used to the revamped boot menu and Recovery Environment.