Are the leaked builds of Windows 8.1 encouraging?
I would say the latest leaked build that shows a new search UI that doesn't switch the user out of the desktop fills me with hope that Microsoft is actually building a new Start Menu UI. I know Mary Jo Foley insists it's not happening, but if Microsoft is serious about making Win 8.1 palatable to retail & corporate customers that is essential.
Lock to Desktop + Start Menu = massive upgrades guaranteed.
Not doing that = suicide.