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Windows 8: No Start Button. So Get Used to It

A lot of Windows users are absolutely livid about the new Metro UI and no Start button on the Desktop. Just browse through any Windows 8 forum. You’ll see hundreds of people complaining about the new OS not having a Start button, the Explorer Ribbon and of course, the Metro Start screen.

In fact former Windows employee Michael Bibik created the Fixing Windows 8 website to start a protest campaign.

Some people say the Metro UI should be on tablets only and the Desktop remain the same on computers.

I was initially hesitant about the new Metro UI and lack of the Start button. I’ve been testing out Windows 8 Consumer Preview since it was released and I’ve found it to be a fluid experience. Especially when using a dual screen setup. Just add an extra monitor, and automatically you’ll have the Metro UI on one screen and the Desktop view on the other.

People are afraid of change. Remember when the Ribbon was introduced in Office 2007? A lot of haters about that too. Don’t worry though, third party developers will come out with programs that bring Windows 8 back to its previous version. There’s already a couple of programs that bring back the Start Menu. My favorite so far is Start8 from StarDock. I wrote about it a few weeks ago.

I like it because while it does bring back the Start button, but it brings it up as the Metro UI. This gives you the best of both worlds. There are other groovy features and customizations you can do with it too.

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Remember too, the new OS is still being developed. While the current Metro Apps are rather lame, there’s a lot of potential for some really cool functionality.

In my opinion, instead of complaining and wasting time professing frustration over the new architecture of Windows 8 — get used to it and you’ll be just fine. After all, Microsoft isn’t looking back.

What are your thoughts on the new Windows 8 interface? Anything goes in the comments if you aren’t insulting other users or being profane. Let the floodgates open!

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18 Responses to Windows 8: No Start Button. So Get Used to It

  1. Steve Krause May 4, 2012 at 11:13 am #

    I’ll admit, I’m one of the “lost ones” without the start button on Windows 8. Granted, I do like being able to just TYPE on the metro screen and get the App I’m looking for which in the end — it’s all about the APP, not the OS.

    If you give me all the APPS I need (Live Writer, Browser, File Manager, Photoshop) — Who needs an OS at all?

    So yeah — I’m over it.

  2. NaeNae May 4, 2012 at 12:04 pm #

    Agreed…quit whining about it and get used to it. I haven’t touched Windows 8 yet, and probably won’t get the opportunity to for some time as the only place I use Windows is at work. But I do like the look of the screen shots up top.

  3. Brian Burgess May 4, 2012 at 12:51 pm #

    Yeah, I had some trouble at first without the Start button. I found myself mousing to where is used to be all the time for the first few days of using Windows 8, but now I am used to it.

    The Windows Key is my best friend in Windows 8 on a single monitor set up.

  4. Mike S May 4, 2012 at 2:07 pm #

    There are tons of complainers. They will keep complaining. I on the other hand have already gotten used to using metro and Windows 8 as my primary os. Actually most people don’t even notice I am using Windows 8 when I doing real work and am on the classic desktop.

    I can already do so many things so much faster with the 100 apps available. It’s new, it’s different and personally for me and builds on the classic experience. You can stay stuck in the classic desktop or move to a mac if you are in the group of complainers. Hell move to to Linux for all I care. I still do everything I do everything I do on any of those within Windows 8 (Virtualize all three).

  5. Brian Burgess May 4, 2012 at 2:46 pm #

    @Mike S: Very good points. I mean like our senior writer Austin Krause says…and I am paraphrasing… Windows 8 is like Windows 7 SP2 — but once you start exploring it, there are some really great options.

    Such as Storage Spaces, which I find to be very cool and look to explore further.

  6. Ziggy May 4, 2012 at 8:14 pm #

    Come on folks, let’s get up with the times! Ditch the old and embrace the new. I’d rather be on a rocket ship to Mars than riding atop a wagon train! Hi Ho Silver…

  7. Brian Burgess May 4, 2012 at 9:23 pm #

    @Ziggy: Nice! Very Funny!

  8. Chris Parsons May 5, 2012 at 8:21 am #

    Sorry, don’t agree with the ‘get used to it’ philosophy. I admit I’m old-fashioned – I started out in the era of core memory – but as far as I’m concerned, I’m the customer, and I see it as the vendor’s role to please the customer, not the customer’s to adapt to the latest fashion trends of the vendor. I don’t like the Metro UI and won’t use it. Incidentally, I don’t like the ribbon in Office, either. At the very least, I have a right to say to MS ‘I don’t like this, and I’m thinking of not being your customer any more’; I most certainly will not just accept things.

    Should I happen to be in a small minority – and I don’t think I am – that’s fine, I will stick with 7 while investing a bit more effort in moving to Linux. Incidentally, look how many users Ubuntu lost because of the Unity interface.

  9. Mike Rothman May 5, 2012 at 9:20 am #

    Is it only me? I don’t think the start button has gone away at all. It just has morphed into a somewhat simpler and more modern looking start screen. Honestly, isn’t all the functionality still there, and then some?

    • Paul Hogan May 5, 2012 at 5:27 pm #

      I agree, I do not understand what all the fuss is about. Everything is there, and more, and so easy and fast to get at.

  10. Austin Krause May 5, 2012 at 11:55 am #

    I actually really like metro. It grows on you the more you use it. I don’t even find myself using the Windows 7 Start Menu much anyway.

    But I will stick to saying that Metro is completely dysfunctional without a touch screen, or as a desktop replacement. On a big 28″ desktop screen, or even on a 22″ it still reminds me of a Toddler learning program. When I’m using a precision laser mouse I don’t need giant buttons all over the place to open my apps. I want minimalism, efficiency, and a search box that doesn’t take over the whole screen. 99% of what I do with Windows 7 is using Ctrl+Esc and then performing a search for whatever I want to open. When Metro is running on a desktop, I feel like I’m using something designed for idiots. I also wouldn’t want it on my laptop either, I use that like a portable desktop. I want the OS to be as much out of my way as possible so I can get to my applications, Metro does the opposite of that.

    However, if you want to put a touch screen in the kitchen and use it for recipes – Metro is great.
    If you want a tablet that runs Windows without a mouse, Metro is great.
    If you have a touch-screen Laptop that you use for sales presentations, Metro is great.

    That said, the Stardock Windows 8 Start Menu replacement makes it tolerable on the desktop. I’m just disappointed in Microsoft that we’ll have to rely on 3rd party software to make it efficient to use again. For me it’s going to be all about the price. I strongly feel that Windows 8 shouldn’t be more than $50 if purchased as an upgrade to Windows 7 (Ultimate). Though for new customers that don’t have Win7 I can see the full price being perfectly justified.

    TL;DR – Metro sucks on the desktop unless you mod it with 3rd party software. It’s great on touch screens though.

  11. Blake May 15, 2012 at 12:52 pm #

    While I agree that people do need to give new things a chance and that constructive criticism goes a lot farther than complaining, the term ‘get used to it’ is about as ridiculous as they come.

    Taking this to a business environment where I manage a large volume of users for a medical clinic, if I told them that I might as well sign my resignation. Metro UI has some MAJOR improvements it needs to make to make it friendly to end users. Sadly the MAJORITY of users are not IT and for a large change like this it will blow their minds (and I’ve tested this, and proven the theory).

    Start button or no, there is core functionality missing. You show a dual monitor setup which I have as well, but neglect to mention that any program that actually runs the Metro UI like IE, if you start it WITH the Metro UI interface you CANNOT move it to the other monitor. You have to completely bypass the Metro UI and open the program normally for it to be movable to the second monitor. This seems rather silly for a product supposedly coming out in the 3rd quarter.

    The normal response will be “well this is only the consumer preview” and granted, it may change. But dual monitor support is pretty fundamental in today’s age when dealing with the commercial sector.

    In summary: get used to it is garbage. People have opinions and to tell them they are wrong for having them is idiocy. Some may whine, and others will rebuttle and belittle those that do acting literally the same on the other end of the pole. Reality? A real business perspective would be to find a way to include those having a hard time (with more than just a tutorial as they have planned), not showing them the door as your article titles itself.

  12. John May 30, 2012 at 12:19 am #

    Windows 8? Windows 7? I’m still using Windows XP by choice, and will milk that sucker until it is no longer supported by Microsoft. A much quicker experience with a lot less fluff (social media hooks, parlor tricks like Aero) and a search function that actually works. And seriously, who needs an autocomplete Start menu to find things if you have structured your files in an orderly fashion?

    Long live Windows XP!

  13. Joey June 4, 2012 at 12:20 pm #

    ” get used to it and you’ll be just fine” is a whole lot like telling a woman who is being raped to “lay back and enjoy it.”

    • Steve Krause June 5, 2012 at 11:58 am #

      No, I don’t agree. Quite a bit different circumstance actually.

  14. Brian Burgess March 3, 2013 at 3:48 pm #

    Thanks @Website! If you need more awesome information on all things Windows 8, check out our Guide to Windows 8:

    • Gerhard March 4, 2013 at 3:27 am #

      Awesome thanks a lot! Helps a lot. cheers

  15. Brian Burgess June 26, 2013 at 5:01 pm #

    I think it would be prudent to add a comment to this post since Windows 8.1 is bringing back the Start Button. Albeit in its simplest form.

    One thing we need to remember is, there is a big difference between the Start Button and the Start Menu. The Start Menu is NOT in Windows 8.1, but the button is there, and it allows for easier restarts, powering off, and you can configure it to work best for your needs.

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