A deep dive into Windows 8 Consumer Preview

After a few days of working with the new version of Windows 8, it looks as if desktop users may be shortchanged.

By Preston Gralla, Computerworld |  Windows, Microsoft, windows 8

You can also put tiles into their own groups as an easy way to see related apps at a glance. Click a small icon at the bottom right corner of the screen and all the apps on the Start screen shrink into a small space. Move tiles anywhere you want on the screen, including into groups. You right-click a group to name it. Click anywhere on the Start screen and the tiles return to their normal size.

Of course, not all apps are necessarily visible on the Start screen. To see all your apps, you right-click on the Start screen and click the "All apps" icon that appears at the bottom of the screen. You'll then see every app listed, along with small tiles that represent each. Right-click any app to pin it to or unpin it from the Start menu (or to/from the Desktop taskbar -- the same taskbar you'll find in Windows Vista and Windows 7 -- if it's a Desktop app). Depending on the app, you may have more options as well. For a Desktop-based app, you'll be able to also uninstall it, open it in a new Window, run it as an administrator, or launch Windows Explorer opened to the location where the application is installed.

To see all your apps, you right-click on the Start screen and click the "All apps" icon that appears at the bottom of the screen.Click to view larger image

Pity the poor Desktop

It's not just that Microsoft has ignored the Desktop; it has also made it less functional than it was in previous versions of Windows. When you click the Desktop tile on the Metro Start screen, you're sent to what is essentially the old Windows Desktop, including the taskbar at the bottom, icons for launching programs, and so on. It looks and works like the Desktop you've grown used to over the years, with a few minor changes.

The biggest change, and possibly the worst one, is that the Desktop no longer has the Start button -- which feels to me like a step back. In Windows 7 and Windows Vista, the Start button was a paragon of simplicity, packing many useful features into a small amount of real estate. You could click it to launch recently run programs and the programs you most commonly run, to search your computer and the Internet, to open documents you'd recently used, to run the Control Panel, and to see a menu of all the programs on your computer, among other tasks. Taking away the Start button makes the Desktop less useful than it was in Windows Vista and Windows 7.

When you click the Desktop tile on the Metro Start screen, you're sent to what is essentially the old Windows Desktop.Click to view larger image


Originally published on Computerworld |  Click here to read the original story.
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