Microsoft appears to be taking steps to remove legacy code from its Windows 8 operating system that will prevent modifications and hacks to re-enable the Start button and Start Menu. Windows watcher Paul Thurrott reports that the company has been "furiously ripping out" legacy code in Windows 8 recently that lets third parties bring back the Start button, Start Menu, and other legacy parts of the desktop interface. Thurrott claims that several well-known UI hacks that enabled the Start Button in the Consumer Preview do not work on the Release Preview.

Despite a growing debate over Metro on desktop PCs, Microsoft doesn't appear to be willing to offer a choice of traditional desktop or Metro with its upcoming Windows 8 release, opting to continue to fuse the pair together. Thurrott claims there will not be an option to boot directly into the desktop for business or power users, and that Windows Server 12 will also boot into Metro. Microsoft's approach will anger some who prefer the traditional desktop over the new fullscreen Metro world, but the focus is on convincing developers to build Metro style apps. The Windows 8 Release Preview will debut today, where we're expecting to see some improvements for multi monitor setups and tweaks to some of the core Metro style applications, but Microsoft has already revealed that it plans to drop the Aero UI before RTM so there's clearly room for additional changes before the operating system ships later this year.