Report: Windows 8 won't support booting to the desktop

Microsoft may be retiring Metro as a brand name, but the Metro interface will still be front and center in Windows 8—more so than you might expect. According to ZDNet, the release version of the operating system will neuter workarounds users had contrived to boot straight into the old desktop interface.

ZDNet says pre-release builds of the OS allowed users to create shortcuts to open the desktop interface. Those shortcuts could then be set to open automatically at boot time. However, the RTM build of the operating system—the one that will populate store shelves on October 26—reportedly disables that workaround.

The site also throws cold water on the possibility that a Group Policy settings might allow system admins to disable the Metro startup screen. "[Windows 8 Secrets co-author Rafael Rivera] told me he believes this also is blocked," writes ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley.

That's bad news for geeks, and it's especially bad news for business users. Microsoft's steadfast emphasis on Metro may leave businesses and corporations clutching to Windows 7 and hoping future Windows releases are a little less touch-happy. Of course, by then, Microsoft will probably offer a Metro version of its Office suite. Hmm.

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