– Ben Martens

Windows 8 Start Screen

Some of the buzz around Windows 8 is that Microsoft should let people go straight into the desktop mode without first landing on the new Windows 8 start screen. I can understand the desire to never ever change anything (while complaining that they’re not “innovating”), but this one is a bit silly. What’s the first thing you did in Windows 95 through Windows 7 when you started your computer? You either clicked one of your shortcut icons to start an app or you pressed the start button to find an app that way. It’s EXACTLY THE SAME with Windows 8. You can either click one of the shortcut icons (tiles) that are on your start screen, or you can find an app by typing and searching for it. If anything, you now have fewer clicks and you also get the added benefit of seeing a screen full of information that you’ve tailored to your interests.

Now there’s also a complaint that Windows 8 doesn’t have a start button. That one I can sympathize with a little more. It bugged me for about a week and then I forgot about it since I always use the keyboard to press the start button anyway. If you want to use the mouse, you just drag down to the lower left of the screen and click like you did before and it brings up the start menu. And here’s a pro tip for you remote desktop users: Alt-Home presses the start button in a remote desktop window.

So yes, there are some changes. People screamed about Program Manager disappearing in Windows 95 but then they fell in love with the Start button. Now things are moving forward again. Like most other things in life, you should try it with an open mind for a couple weeks before you decide if it’s good or bad.