We all like fast boot times. Just ask anybody with an SSD. However, fast boot times can be a problem when you’re frantically trying to press F8 in order to enter Windows Safe Mode. If your computer boots in a very short period of time, then hitting that key in a fraction of a second window can be a serious problem.
Interestingly enough, Microsoft has optimized the boot time of Windows 8 so much that they’ve given up trying to make users press ‘F8’ before the boot screen loads. With only a 200ms window in which to press F8, many users simply can’t react fast enough.
For that reason, Windows 8 plans to include a separate boot menu that can be accessed from the main desktop. Called the ‘Boot Options’ menu, it will feature important settings like ‘Troubleshoot’, ‘Use a device’, or ‘Use another operating system’.
Many Windows 8 users will never need to see this menu. However, for those who like to get the most out of their computers and use multiple operating systems, or simply need to troubleshoot an annoying problem, this will be an invaluable tool.
As of now, the boot options menu will only be available on PCs that have a UEFI BIOS. If you don’t have a UEFI BIOS, then you’re still going to have to frantically hammer on F8 while your computer boots up. Fortunately, most modern motherboards use a UEFI BIOS.
Ultimately, the only time you’ll be able to see the boot menu on startup is when something goes seriously wrong with your computer. Otherwise, you’ll be greeted with the clean, friendly Windows 8 loading screen every time.