It was supposed to be the dawn of a new age for Microsoft's operating system, but now, after a generally lukewarm reception around the globe, it appears that the new Windows 8 touch-centric interface may be in peril.
Rumors have been circulating on Windows forums that, in response to the less than enthusiastic reception for the Windows 8 UI (formerly known as "Metro"), Microsoft might allows users to skip its shiny new touch-friendly interface and boot directly into a traditional Windows desktop environment. According to one veteran reporter citing an anonymous source (of course), Microsoft is indeed preparing a Windows 8.1 (a.k.a "Windows Blue") update that will allows users to bypass the square grid interface that has become such a familiar sight over the last year.
For some users, the Windows 8 UI works well for touch devices, but for the vast majority of Windows machines in the business arena that are still not touch-enabled, the square grid interface is reportedly something of a challenge in terms of overall workflow. If this latest Windows 8.1 report turns out to be accurate, it could set Microsoft's plans to reinvent itself back by years, leaving the company back where it started as it tries to push the Windows desktop forward into a more mobile-focused future.
However, if a recent leak of Windows 8.1 represents the finished version of the update, Microsoft may indeed be sticking by its touch interface guns, as the leaked update does not feature the ability to skip the Windows 8 UI. In any case, we'll have to wait for the official final version to know for sure.
If you're still working on an older Windows operating system and haven't had the chance to see the Windows 8 UI in action, you can check out a brief sample in the video below.