Windows 8 Start Screen

Initially, the start screen with the tiles seems a good idea. All your favourite “apps” available with one touch or a click of the mouse, great, saves having to hunt round looking for the “program” that you want to use and then the search function, great again. Just fire up the search function and start “typing” the name of a program or utility and the suggestions appear very quickly and amend according to how many characters/letters you have typed. However, I’ve been using Windows since v 3.11 and DOS before that and I’m reasonably knowledgeable about how to fire up a program and don’t want to keep using the search function every time I want use a program. The answer is to “pin” the program to the start screen – simple.

The “New style” apps is something of an enigma. These are accessed by clicking or touching on a tile, and hey presto the “app” fires up but there is no way out of  it, no way to exit. Trust me, I have clicked on every millimeter of the edge of the screen and there is no way to quit or exit an App. The only way seems to be click the bottom left corner and select Start screen again. This doesn’t actually close the App, it just minimizes it. That’s OK if you want to leave it running in the background but the easiest way I have found to stop the App is the do Alt +F4. That is poor.

Using some of the “App” versions of my often used stuff leaves me scratching my head in disbelief! Adobe reader for example opens PDFs but in addition to the lack of quit option, there isn’t any obvious way to increase the size of the text so I struggle to read the text. Alt+F4  quits back to the start screen. Fire up your fav browser and download and install Adobe reader and it then appears on the start screen but this time the “proper” version opens and you can zoom in and do all the stuff you could before and then strangely when you quit (using the normal method) it takes you to your “Desktop” – not the Start Screen, go figure.

Another example is the “Google” App. It’s quite different to using Google in your browser, no tabbed browsing and an overall WTF (sorry I’m lost for words). That was quickly uninstalled.

At the risk of being accused of being an aging Luddite, I’m getting the overall impression that an “App” is something less than an “Application” or program as we used to call them. So far, I’m not finding any advantage in using a “App” instead of an “Application” but accept some people will!

I think the best tile, with doubt at all, is the “Desktop” tile.

I’m trying my hardest to resist installing classicshell but the only way I can convince myself not to, is to make my first click on the Desktop tile 🙂



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