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Windows 8 is clearly developed as a tablet oriented OS. If a user has little experience of tablet usage then everything would not make any sense at first. I still feels awkward even after using it for a while.

After a successful logon, W8 will greet us with its “Start” screen. By default, It shows rather large icons of popular “Apps”.

Windows 8 Start Screen

Windows 8 Start Screen

Clicking an apps icon will open the application in full screen mode if its a native W8 apps, or else it will opens in the traditional “desktop mode.”

From Start screen, user can switch to desktop mode by clicking the desktop icon. Ah, the good old Windows desktop. But wait! Where is the start button?!?! Its gone! Pressing the WIN key on the keyboard only brings the Start page, not the start menu we familiar with.

I found out somewhat late that the WIN key function is now to switch between the active apps and the Start page (Oh, placing the mouse cursor to the bottom left of the screen – roughly where the old start button was – will do the same.)  And what I find interesting is the W8 considers the Desktop mode as an app. So even if I open several applications from desktop mode, they are still treated as single entity which is “Desktop App”.

Windows 8 Desktop "app" Screen

Windows 8 Desktop “app” Screen

I have to conclude that the start menu is not missing completely, its just replaced by the Start screen. So for old timers, just think that W8 Start screen is actually an oversized full screen start menu with an invisible start button (Well, actually the Start screen behavior is too similar to the old start menu, I have suspicions that W8 programmers tweaked the old start menu, make it full screen, put some cosmetics and ta-daaaaa,,, Metro UI :D:D:D:D )