The Start button returns in Windows 8.1
With the Windows 8.1 Preview Microsoft returns the Start button – sort of.
Down in the lower left corner, on the taskbar, is the new Windows logo. It does not have the nice “button” appearance like in Windows 7, , but then it does not exactly work like it either.
To find all programs, you don’t have to right-click and then click on All apps any more; there is a circled arrow that takes you to the full alphabetic listing of all programs and apps (in groups).
If this is a bit too confusing, just click the minus sign in the lower right corner (it does not show in the illustration here) and get an “index” of the apps. The Windows system programs are listed alphabetically in their respective group as you can see in the illustration here.
Right-click the Start button and a menu pops up to provide access to numerous services. This is similar to what is provided in Windows 8, but there are some differences.
The biggest, and nicest, difference is the addition of the Shut down link which provides the customary sleep – shut down – restart options menu.
Don’t get your hopes up, the Programs and Features link just brings up the Uninstall or change a program dialog, not a launch list of programs.
Booting into the desktop
Another noteworthy change is the much asked-for ability to go right into the desktop when the PC is booted or started up. After logging in you can go directly to the desktop instead of landing on the Start screen. This is not enabled by default, you have to set it up yourself. Here is the procedure:
Right-click on an empty spot on the taskbar.
In the Taskbar and Navigation properties dialog click the Navigation tab.
Below Start screen find the option that reads Go to the desktop instead of Start when I sign in.
Click it so that the box is checked, then click OK.
Now Windows 8.1 – at least in the Preview version – behaves more like a full-featured, professional operating system.
Note of warning:
Do not install the Windows 8.1 Preview on your working Windows 8 PC! If you do, you will have to re-install all programs and apps when the final version of Windows 8.1 is release in the fall of 2013.
© 2013 Ludwig Keck