Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Will Microsoft Address One of Windows 8's Biggest Weaknesses?

By Evan Niu, CFA - Apr 16, 2013 at 8:00PM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

Users aren't too fond of Microsoft killing the Start Menu in favor of the Start Screen, which has contributing to poor PC sales. Will Microsoft heed criticism and address one of Windows 8's biggest weaknesses?

Microsoft (MSFT -4.55%) Windows 8 is totally killing the PC. This we know. First-quarter PC shipments put up the worst growth in nearly two decades. One contributing factor to consumer's rejecting Windows 8 is the controversial Start Screen.

The software giant ditched its staple Start Menu in the new platform in favor of the tile-based Start Screen that Microsoft first introduced in Windows Phone. Removing a core interface element that's been around since 1995 was a bold risk, and one that's backfiring. Third-party alternatives that emulate the Start Menu's functionality are taking off as they step up to fill the void.

Well, Microsoft may be preparing to address this shortfall with the upcoming release of Windows 8.1, otherwise known as Windows "Blue." The Verge reports that the company might include a new option that allows users to boot directly to the familiar desktop interface, bypassing the tile interface that average users are clearly shunning.

Microsoft isn't expected to actually bring the Start Menu back from the dead, although it's still possible. ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley's inside source says that the software giant is considering it, but nothing's set it stone yet.

Even Paul Thurrott, a widely followed Windows enthusiast, had been calling for exactly this feature as part of his "Fixing Windows 8" series from late last year. Most users still spend the majority of their computing time in a desktop environment, so allowing them to jump straight there would just be "customer-centric common sense," in Thurrott's opinion.

It should be obvious to Microsoft by now that it needs to do something to address Windows 8's weaknesses. At Windows 8's current trajectory, the entire PC value chain is going to suffer for Microsoft's mistakes. Touchscreen devices will eventually come down in price and make Windows 8's interface more approachable. Until that happens, just bypassing the Start Screen may not be enough.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

Microsoft Corporation Stock Quote
Microsoft Corporation
$254.08 (-4.55%) $-12.12

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning service.

Stock Advisor Returns
S&P 500 Returns

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 05/19/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.