The desktop use case scenario is different and there are at least as many reasons not to pop up the keyboard as to pop it in desktop. I think this was the right move by MS. It is a little annoying at first but you get used to it just like double touching icons in desktop to open them. Desktop just works differently than Modern UI. Some people call it schizophrenic but I like the separation of function and the additional function gain in desktop because it is different (like being able to resize windows).
It may not be an option due to desktop limitations. To think of it another way, touch in desktop works like mouse placement. You can move the mouse all over the screen and nothing happens except the cursor moves. Touching a text field is akin to hovering your mouse over it, placing the cursor there but not doing anything. Desktop has to work for both of these interactions and there are situations where you don't want the keyboard popping up every time you do this in desktop.
An option would be nice and maybe it exists but I haven't heard about it yet or I would share Like bosamar said maybe in v2 or an update along the way as I imagine this is a low priority item in the grand scheme of things.
I realize that legacy desktop applications are expecting a keyboard to be present at all times so they didn't write them to bring up an onscreen keyboard when a dialog box is opened.
I'm wondering how hard it would be to patch legacy programs to check for a keyboard when they call for a dialogue box and if there is no keyboard, then bring up the onscreen keyboard.
I'm sure there is some < magical > programming involved.
Seems like it would be worth the effort though.
Supposedly, as I understand it, the reason for introducing the Metro Start screen is to bring consistency between using Windows phones and Windows computers and Windows tablets.
But having two different desktops that operate differently just adds to the confusion.
And we're the lucky one's who have the time / luck to find these forums. 95% of the Surface owners will never come near this forum and don't have any idea it exists. So they are out there trying to figure this stuff out by themselves.
PS I'm wondering if Windows 8 itself couldn't be patched to issue the keyboard check when a dialog box is opened instead of doing it program by program?