Windows 8: The Start Screen is a start menu, not a new desktop environment (editorial)

The Start Screen in Windows 8 and Windows RT isn’t a desktop, it’s a start menu. This is something many people are ignoring and are looking at the Start Screen as if it’s out to replace the desktop all together. This is not the case.

Many consumers are ignoring the release of Windows 8 because of what they have heard on the internet, that Windows 8 is bad. Why do they think Windows 8 is bad? It’s because of the Start Screen. The evil Start Screen that’s out to turn all desktop PC’s into a nightmare. Calm down guys and girls, that’s not true at all.

People aren't looking at the Start Screen for what it truly is, a new alternative to the Start Menu. People are looking at it as if it’s the “NEW” desktop, and are worrying that soon the desktop won’t even exist, being totally replaced by the full screen Start Screen. Sure, Microsoft may have this idea in mind for tablets but this isn't the case for Windows on the desktop.

In the future, it might be better for Microsoft to remove the desktop on Windows RT devices, maybe with Windows RT 2.0 or 3.0, this would be better for tablet users because they don’t actually need the desktop. Everything will run in the Metro environment in the future. For the desktop side of Windows, we’re still going to be using our usual desktop apps, such as Photoshop and Steam. Microsoft simply can’t remove or replace the desktop.

This is why Microsoft, from the very beginning, said the Start Screen is the new Start Menu, not a new desktop environment. Microsoft admitted that the old start menu had not kept up with the modern way. "We stepped back and reimagined the role of Start in Windows 8. We knew that we already had a powerful launcher for desktop programs in the taskbar. The Start screen is not just a replacement for the Start menu—it is designed to be a great launcher and switcher of apps, a place that is alive with notifications, customizable, powerful, and efficient," Microsoft had originally stated regarding the new Start Screen. You have to realize that underneath the Start Screen, the average Windows interface is waiting. You can click into that interface and never have to ever see the Start Screen again, just like in Windows 7; you don’t have to see the Start Menu if you don’t want to. While Microsoft doesn't allow you to automatically bypass the Start Screen in Windows 8, it takes one click to jump into the desktop.

Remember Windows XP? When you installed it for the first time, you were greeted with the Start Menu as it opened automatically. It’s just the same in Windows 8, except it happens every time.

Also, for those who aren't jumping to Windows 8, you are missing out on so many great enhancements to the OS, such as Hybrid Boot, improved security, Microsoft Accounts, syncing, SkyDrive, Xbox-integration and more!

So remember, the Start Screen in Windows 8 is just a Start Menu, not a new desktop. It will not kill your beloved Notepad.exe or System Properties dialog, you’re still going to be able to access the Registry for years to come. The desktop is still available in Windows 8.

Have you been hesitant to upgrade to Windows 8? Why?

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