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Microsoft is redesigning the boot menu in its upcoming Windows 8 operating system (OS) because it starts up too quickly for users to access setup and safe modes.

In a Building Windows 8 blog post today, Microsoft’s programme manager for the user experience team Chris Clark said, “When you turn on a Windows 8 PC, there’s no longer long enough to detect keystrokes like F2 or F8, much less time to read a message such as ‘Press F2 for Setup’.”

“For the first time in decades, you will no longer be able to interrupt boot and tell your PC to do anything different than what it was already expecting to do.”

To combat this problem Microsoft said it “won’t be slowing down boot” to allow users to get keystrokes in, but instead has created a boot options menu that will provide Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) settings, troubleshooting tools and a way to boot from external devices such as USB.

The new boot options menu will automatically be brought up when the PC encounters problems on start up, Clark said. Users will also be able to trigger it manually while holding down the shift key while clicking restart, through Command Prompt, or through an Advanced Startup menu in PC Settings.

According to Clark’s blog post, the system will work for PCs running the BIOS replacement UEFI only. Non-UEFI devices will be presented with fewer options but users will still be able to press a key to enter the menu while booting.

Microsoft announced Tuesday that it plans to make multiple monitor use much easier in Windows 8 by including more customisable desktop backgrounds, improved taskbar efficiency, and improved user interface controls.

via The Inquirer


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