Windows 8 won't have Start Screen picture customization

Windows 8 may be rapidly approaching its beta version in late February, but when Microsoft finally decides to release it, users may not be happy with one of the company's customization choices. TechRadar.com reports that, according to Windows 8 director of communications Chris Flores, users won't be able to apply a picture as a background for the Windows 8 Metro start screen.

Flores says that the reason for this choice is that any photograph would not be able to stretch and scale as Metro interface users add more tiles and groups to the Start Screen and then zoom in and out of that screen's interface. In addition, any picture would be covered up by the Metro-style tiles.

So what can you do with the Start Screen background in Metro on Windows 8? As you can see in the picture above, You can choose from eight different styles of background in the beta version and then alter the color of that style via a color scroll bar. The colors are also very specific to avoid users choosing strong colors that would obscure text.

The article also says that the beta version will allow mouse users to have more control of the Metro user interface. You will be able to use your mouse's scroll wheel to move the Start Screen's interface from side to side, among other features.

You can also shut down Metro apps via a touch screen without going to Windows 8's Task Manager in the forthcoming beta version. When you want to stop a Metro app from running, simply drag your finger from the top of the screen to the bottom to close the Metro app. The Beta is due out late-February for public release.

Image via TechRadar.com

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techguy77 said,

Maybe your Business but most do not, simply doesn't bring any value. IT Industry is more complex than what you think and it is not only web apps. Time will prove i am right but in mean time take in consideration that Windows 7 just barely took market share over Windows XP, think about it! Business who just hardly moved from XP to Windows 7 wont go to Windows 8 period. That applies to handful number of Home Users. Bringing Metro interface to Desktop wont really attract moms and pops cause they already check email, play games, do facebok on their Android and iPhones.


win7 didnt get so much market share from XP because china still thinks XP is the latest and greatest.
Here in holland however, its getting quite rare i see winXP, just the ocasional household still has it, but almost everyone is on Vista or older.

and dont get the BS against metro in a dev preview, iirc MS already confirmed that you can just use the 'legacy' Win7-like desktop without the metro start screen.

I completely understand why MS would take this position. That being said, I have a ton of really wide panoramic images I've made from pictures of my travels that would work really great for this. I'm glad this is going to be an easy hack.

Why would MS not put this in, sure not all images will work, but what if people made images that fit perfectly? It just seems Microsoft is being blankly nieve about the whole think. Just let people put the darn images they want on there!

Jeez, I'm a big fan of Windows but with all MS is talking about and implementing lately it's just seems to be putting me off Windows 8 . Not good Microsoft, not good at all!

djdanster said,
Why would MS not put this in, sure not all images will work, but what if people made images that fit perfectly? It just seems Microsoft is being blankly nieve about the whole think. Just let people put the darn images they want on there!

Jeez, I'm a big fan of Windows but with all MS is talking about and implementing lately it's just seems to be putting me off Windows 8 . Not good Microsoft, not good at all!

Images that fit what? The width of the start screen is entirely variable depending on how many apps you've got installed. At least half (and some would argue the most important middle part where most of the detail is) of any photograph would be covered up all of the time and would never be seen. It would be a pointless waste of money to develop such a feature. If a few users want it, let them develop a hack for it... then find out they can't see the photo they just applied and remove it again.

why not keep a static image as a background for the start screen behind the live tiles?

anyway, this will certainly result in a very consistent look across all PC's....but i'm not sure if everyone would like that.

Dane said,
If I get windows 8 the first thing to get turned off is tiles.

You do understand it's a whole application platform you're turning off right?

It's like saying, I'm going to buy windows 98 but only use DOS applications.

dotf said,

You do understand it's a whole application platform you're turning off right?

He is not losing anything by turning off Metro cause you wont be any more efficient than him.

It's like saying, I'm going to buy windows 98 but only use DOS applications.

Well not sure why they don't just let idiots do it, but too many OEMs and people would put goofy cluttered pictures under the tile screen, and make it so horrible to look at it, it would be unusable.

It is like the Video Wallpaper of Vista (that you can still mod back on in Windows 7) - Users were putting up crazy videos, that were beyond distracting and was even making people sick.

This is a failing. Forcing us to look at pictures... someone will hack it, but do we really need to go there. I'm hoping this is just a note that companies can turn off custimization and not that it is just a general concept to force users to look at images they cannot change. At this point it is like a basic right in an OS to allow the user to change any image that is displayed... of course no one cares in windows 7 because it is a very simple background... but when you have actual images of things it will make users uppity if you don't allow custimization.

Either Microsoft can take the honorable route and allow users to disable the Metro interface or supply their own background image if they choose to keep the Metro interface. Otherwise, some third party will create a workaround (read, Registry hack) that will let users disable the Metro interface and customize their tablets. Those people who are serious about productivity will continue to use their laptops and desktops with Windows-7.

TsarNikky said,
Either Microsoft can take the honorable route and allow users to disable the Metro interface or supply their own background image if they choose to keep the Metro interface. Otherwise, some third party will create a workaround (read, Registry hack) that will let users disable the Metro interface and customize their tablets. Those people who are serious about productivity will continue to use their laptops and desktops with Windows-7.

Exactly. They will have hard time competing against Windows 7, in fact i guarantee that Windows 8 will never take any significant Market Share from XP and Windows 7. And if they keep same philosophy with Windows 9 most likely not even with Windows 9.

TsarNikky said,
Either Microsoft can take the honorable route and allow users to disable the Metro interface or supply their own background image if they choose to keep the Metro interface. Otherwise, some third party will create a workaround (read, Registry hack) that will let users disable the Metro interface and customize their tablets. Those people who are serious about productivity will continue to use their laptops and desktops with Windows-7.

You know the Legacy UI's background can still be changed just as much as it did in Windows 7, right? & the Metro UI's background can have the color changed, the picture changed from a select list, or the picture changed with a custom one via a hack...

TsarNikky said,
Those people who are serious about productivity will continue to use their laptops and desktops with Windows-7.

I'm serious about productivity, and I'll be using Windows 8. Don't talk like you're speaking for a whole group. I'm sorry but I just haven't found my workflow irreparably damaged.

Orange Battery said,
Seems logical. I will be mostly using the desktop so not too botherd.

Finally, someone who gets that if you hate Metro so much, either only use the Legacy UI or just use a program to remove the Metro UI...

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