Something has been bugging me over the past several days as I’ve been reporting on the launch of Windows 8… everybody seems to claim that Windows 8 doesn’t have a start button. It does.
The entire concept of Windows 8 wasn’t derived just to mess with your mind and require countless hours of clerical re-training, although the business technology training industry certainly isn’t upset at the prospect. Instead, Windows 8 was redesigned for one simple reason: touch.
Sure, mobile computing had a factor in the redesign. So did cloud computing. But the truth is that Windows 8 simply is the same old traditional Windows that you’ve known and loved for decades redesigned with fingers and pens in mind just as much as mice. The largest change is that the start menu becomes a start screen.
And what a start screen Windows 8 offers. Imagine back to Windows 95 if your start menu could run complete applications. Mind boggling. That’s exactly what the Windows 8 start screen does, it runs touch-centric applications as a part of its own ecosystem. The desktop still exists, the start menu still exists (in one kick-ass full screen mode, as just described), and yes… the start button still exists. And while the Desktop may be “crippled” on Windows RT, that’s not due to Microsoft’s promotion of the tile-based start screen, it is due to the fact that ARM processors can’t run software designed for Windows 7 or earlier which exclusively used x86 architecture.
The start button, for those who can’t find it, is located just to the right-hand side of your primary display. Yes, that means it’s off-screen and normally invisible.
By placing your mouse in the upper- or lower-right corner of your primary display temporarily (or by swiping in from the right side of the screen with a touch device), a beautiful bar-like menu will appear with five icons that Microsoft calls “charms”. The most central of all of these charms is, yes, you guessed it… the famous “Start” button.
So for everyone griping about Windows 8 who is a content creator, a business power users, or both like me… get with it! Sure, I don’t jump into many Windows 8 applications yet for accomplishing work, but that’s because not too many exist yet. Windows 8 and its rich Start screen aren’t slowing your down your productivity any more than using the antiquated Start menu ever did. What is slowing you down is your inability to accept change and adapt to something beyond legacy.