A rumor is making the rounds, based on leaked Windows Blue code, that the newest version of Windows will let you bypass the Start screen and boot directly to the Desktop. If true, that solve a major issue that many people have with Windows 8.
WinBeta reports that the Russian site MicrosoftPortal says it has found code in twinui.dll that is "responsible for disabling the Start Screen" and will let you "go to the desktop automatically" in Windows Blue.
That would certainly please many people, who blame Windows 8 poor sales on the confusing dual and dueling Windows 8 interfaces, the Start screen designed for tablets and touch, and the traditional Desktop, designed for traditional computers.
The confusing interface has even been blamed by IDC for depressing overall PC sales. Bob O'Donnell, IDC Program Vice President, Clients and Displays, had this to say about the effect of the Windows 8 interface on PC sales:
"At this point, unfortunately, it seems clear that the Windows 8 launch not only failed to provide a positive boost to the PC market, but appears to have slowed the market. While some consumers appreciate the new form factors and touch capabilities of Windows 8, the radical changes to the UI, removal of the familiar Start button, and the costs associated with touch have made PCs a less attractive alternative to dedicated tablets and other competitive devices. Microsoft will have to make some very tough decisions moving forward if it wants to help reinvigorate the PC market."
Allowing people to boot directly to the Desktop would certainly be one of those "very tough decisions."
But I think it's very unlikely that code allowing people to bypass the Start screen will be built into Windows Blue. Microsoft has clearly bet its future on the new Windows 8 touch-based interface, and it's not going to back off so quickly on that bet. In addition, when I headed to the Russian MicrosoftPortal site, I found that the page WinBeta referred to about the boot-to-Desktop-capability has been taken down. That might mean that the Russian site is backing off its original claim, although that's not necessarily the case.
The upshot? If you don't like the Start screen, you're likely going to have to use one of the many third-party tools to bypass it, and not rely on Microsoft for help.