Coming in 8.1: Boot to Desktop, Start Button and More! « WinSupersite
Boot to desktop
In the so-called Milestone Preview (MP) version of Windows 8.1, which I know was issued internally at Microsoft about two weeks ago and could be released to the public as a “release preview,” Microsoft has added the option to boot directly to the Windows 8.x desktop.
... the Start button will be enabled—on the desktop only—by default. It will look just like the Start charm in Windows 8 and be positioned in the same place as it was in Windows 7, but will of course trigger the new Start screen when clicked, and not the legacy Start menu. When you mouse into the lower left corner of the screen in any “Metro” experience, you’ll see the new Start button instead of the Windows 8 Start tip.
But here’s the trick: If you do click this button, it will remain displayed on the desktop going forward. If you don’t, and instead use a hardware Windows key, the Start button will disappear and things will work as they do in Windows 8. You can of course manually enable and disable this button as you prefer.
... users will also be able to replace the stock Start screen with the All Apps view, where you see tile-like icons for every installed application, but no live updating functionality. Users will be able to arrange the icons by usage, allowing the most commonly used apps to be first. This view is the closest users will get to the Windows 7 Start Menu, even though it will be full-screen, instead of a list.
Windows 8.1 will also apparently offer the ability to set the desktop wallpaper as the Start screen background too