I read, all over the web, comments regarding the dislike for the forthcoming Windows 8, and in particular, and in fact almost
exclusively, criticism of the (as it was called) Metro.
I was urged to print my own thoughts on the subject, and I
published an article which I have repeated here, in which I stated, imo, that "Metro" was a replacement for the start menu,
and, for new users, if they accepted that concept, it becomes easier to use. You could regard the "All Apps" as the extra
selections you get, if you open the default folders in the Windows 7 start menu.
When I booted up Windows 7 and
earlier, I arrived at a desktop - fine. (exactly, even, as in a linux distribution) It has never crossed my mind that the
little globe, bottom left, was any other than where I started to look to go further into my applications. ie. "The Start
menu".(Unless, of course, I had all my shortcuts set up in the taskbar and desktop - not my practice.)
for what it is worth, this is how I see the "Metro"
My first comment is that, whilst, from the beginning,
Microsoft and followers have touted the Metro as the new desktop, this was a mistake. I cannot see it as such. To me it is a
new, graphical, start menu. It is designed, primarily, for touchscreens, but there is no reason why it cannot, with a little
compromise, be adjusted for normal mouse use.
The following is based on those thoughts. I am indicating, solely,
how I have found a use for it, or an alternative method of successfully using Windows 8. The OS is an advancement on Windows
7, in performance, but not enough, in my opinion, to warrant the purchase of it - particularly for mass purchasers.
However. here I go. two basic methods. One for those who would like to try and use the Metro Start menu, another for those
who want to be more familiar in old surroundings.
Let me ask, here, do you, users, really
have a daily requirement for all of those apps which are put into the old legacy menu, and now Metro. Those who are heavily
into graphic operations may need more than me, and there are other aspects of computer use with the same need. But I have
eliminated mine to ten programs I use in my daily work.
So, on the Metro screen, let us right click an app icon. A
bar menu appears on the bottom, like this:
Here, as you can see, you can Unpin it, which
tucks it away. You can even Uninstall it if that is the way you want to go. Even better, which really is concerned with my
next section, you can Pin it to the start.
When you have done this, you can rearrange the remaining icons, in your preferred order.
Now comes a partly
hidden function. Click, over on the bottom right, the small minus sign. Now you will have a miniaturised picture of your
Metro. Right click any of the groups, which you have prearranged. Another bar menu! You can name those groups.
I stated, I have eliminated mine to a mere ten items, but for the purpose of this Demo, here is my full Metro, on a complete
and new installation:
So, there we have a graphical start menu. What about all those
unused apps. - Just right Click on the Metro, and, bottom right, is some text "All Apps". Click there and you have a whole
bunch of every app on your computer.
Now, if you click any app, on your Metro all "All Apps" Window, it will open in the normal way. But, if you close it, you
will find yourself on the legacy desktop. Bu***ger. But click the "Windows" key, and you are back in your Metro Start
That is all, in the context of this post, there is to say on the use of the Metro
You don't want Metro.
Fair enough. If you click the Desktop icon, in Metro, you will find yourself on the legacy desktop. Darn, its totally
empty. No problem, it is customisable in exactly the manner to which you've been used to - right click and "personalise".
But where is the good old start menu? A big omission, on Microsoft's part, to omit that. But no problem again.
Download and install the well known "Classic Menu".
Welcome to Classic Shell
This is incredibly
customisable,. It even has a choice of start orbs. Within the options is one which enables a user to boot straight through to
the desktop, bypassing the Metro completely. Classic, can be set up almost 100% to emulate the old Windows 7 menu.
But maybe you would like to use one of the other third party start menus? There are several around, if you google, but I
dont think, imho, that they compete with the Classic.
If, again, that is the road you wish to take, forget about
the "Classic" download and install the attached little gem. Select the option to bypass the Metro. Install your own menu.
One last. If you want to persist, and use the facilities available, right click in the bottom left corner of the
desktop.. This popup has become known as the "Power" menu. It is also customisable, but this involves a little hacking and
manipulation, and I don't consider it to be the subject of this post.
That's about it, but a comment for your
In Windows 7, for example, you are in and using an App. You close it and wish to go to another App.
1. Click the
2. Click "All programs"
3. Click your desired shortcut.
In Windows 8
1. Click the "Windows" key
2. Click your shortcut Icon.
-See the difference.
I should also add that my personal use of a
computer, often takes me to a situation where I need to have several windows open on the desktop. This cannot be done with
Metro Apps - so far. To me, the solution was simple - I don't use them. You can find a wealth of alternative, non metro apps
on the web, which can accomplish the same things. I have weakened and downloaded a couple of time wasters from the "Store".
Card games and Backgammon as two examples.
There are other aspects of Windows 8, which users could comment on.
IMO, it has a slightly improved performance. I would not consider that improvement enough to warrant its purchase, particular
for an office with a multi purchase requirement. And, of course, even for a desktop user, I cannot grasp the idea of the
average secretary typing on a touchscreen - lol. - but that is an otpion.
Good luck. I hope it will work for you,
but do try and have fun exploring the possibilities I have mentioned