Is Windows 8 New Start Screen Better Than Older Windows Start Button?
by John Krill NOCCC 3160
If you are a Windows RT tablet or phone user you may like the new Start Screen because it looks and acts like a Windows tablet and phone. If you have used Windows in the past you might not like the new Windows 8 Start Screen.
I’ve been using Windows 8 and it’s new Start Screen for about 3 weeks and I’m still not completely liking it.
My Reasons Are As Follows:
First naming conventions: In past Windows we had the Start Button and in the new Windows 8 we have the Start Screen. For this article then ‘Start Button’ is old versions of Windows and ‘Start Screen’ is the new Windows 8 version. Confusing? It should be.
1. The Start has been Balkanized.
No longer is everything you had in the old Start Button in the Windows 8 Start Screen. You want to ‘Shutdown’ that’s inside all Charm menus and the Power Icon. Want to ‘Log Off’ then go to the Start Screen and you’ll find user info as well as logging off in the upper right corner. Want to go to ‘All Programs’ then first go to the Start Screen then Right Click the mouse and then click the ‘All Apps’ Icon in the lower right of Start Screen. Got all that? In other words go here or there or maybe over there to accomplish what you could do directly from the Start button.
Want the Control Panel: Go to the Charm menu from the Desktop.
Want to do a search: There is a Search Icon in every Charm menu but they’re all not equal. Good luck there.
Remember ‘Run’ in the Start button? Go to the Start Screen then to ‘All Apps’ and over in the Windows System section is ‘Run.’
Note: Like the old Start button any program could be put in the Start menu and likewise any App can be put on the Start Screen. This means you can collect your favorite old Start Button apps into one section of Start Screen.
Weirdness of the Start Screen: Try arranging the apps on the Start Screen the way YOU want them. Good luck with that. And if you find a way to keep them from moving all over the place please let me know. I’ve given up on that little project.
2. Productivity has been reduced with Windows 8.
Balkanized Start functions is one example.
Because I haven’t been able to organize the Start Screen I’m always looking for the program I want. For this reason I’ve put a lot more programs into the Task Bar than I did in the past.
More mouse clicks is another. Almost everything I have to do in Windows 8 involves extra mouse clicks. Also you spend more time moving from one screen to another as well as one area of a screen to another area to accomplish a task.
For instance why do I need to right-click the mouse in the Start Screen in order to get the ‘All Apps’ Icon? Why can’t that Icon always be present?
Win8 apps designed especially for this OS can’t replace the same program of old. They just don’t have the flexibility. Only those apps that have limited functionality, like Twitter, work well as a Win8 app. Win8 app what’s that? Technically, and I’m no expert, I believe those are apps that have been ported to Windows 8 from the RT OS that the Microsoft tablets and phones use.
A really good example of a Win8 app is Twitter.
OK we have Windows programs and Win8 apps. I know how to install a Windows program but how do you install a Win8 app? Good question. Here’s the answer. Go to the Windows Store. What Windows Store? You mean the one downtown? Or maybe you mean the Windows store at microsoft.com? The answer is NO to both.
You will find the Windows Store on the Start Screen. Keep looking, it’s there. Find it? OK start the Windows Store app and begin searching for and installing all those free Win8 apps. Wait a minute how do I do a Search? OK I’ll tell you – look in the Charm menu. Click Search. Isn’t this fun.
I suggest you install the Twitter Win8 app first because it really is a well thought out app and it actually works.
A lot of the Win8 apps, maybe all of them, are web sites also, like Twitter. This means you can always just fall back on the old web version of the app. In general I suggest you use the Web version instead of the Win8 app. Remember the win8 app had to be ported over to Windows 8. The Web version is usually the REAL thing. Again Twitter seems to have gone over to the dark side and still remained workable and friendly.
Want to experience a bad Win8 app then try one of the Facebook Win8 apps. That’s right there is more than one.
Remember Win8 apps were originally designed for small screens like the Microsoft phone and on your big screen they can look weird.
My Biggest Complaint:
Windows 8 just isn’t that intuitive. Logic isn’t part of the Windows 8 experience. Why do I have to leave a Win8 app before I can close that app?
For us old time Windows users getting used to Windows 8 is going to take a while. But I may never stop being annoyed at some of the methods of this new Windows OS.