Microsoft is reportedly readying a much-requested feature for Windows 8 in an update -- an option to boot directly to the desktop. A "CanSuppressStartScreen" option has been discovered in early builds of Windows 8.1, which when enabled in the registry, allows users to bypass the "New User Interface"
Initial builds of the Windows 8.1 "Blue" OS seem to not have a graphical user interface option to disable the "Metro" screen and the functionality of the flag is currently somewhat limited to a kiosk mode. Microsoft admits that it has seen a user outcry to bring back some traditional Windows user elements, such as booting straight to the desktop, and the Start button with attendant functionality.
Multi-tasking has been improved for apps, including the option to run two with a split in the middle of the screen, allowing both to have the same application width. More accent colors, deeper SkyDrive integration, and updates to the side "Charms" are also making an appearance. Internet Explorer is also usable in the leaked copy, but it isn't clear what improvements have been made to the browser.
Windows Blue is expected to become available as a public preview in the next few months, with a view to a release towards the end of this year.