Windows 8 designed for mobile devices and tablets as well as laptop and desktop machines now has a new user interface.
What is first obviously missing is the Start button. There are other things missing as well – in particular, the Aero theme and Desktop Gadgets.
However if you right-click on the lower-left corner of the screen you get a context menu that is somewhat reminiscent of the old Windows Start menu.
As you can see from one of the options in the menu, this is a way to get to the Control Panel, which happens to look very much similar to that of Windows 7.
But the so-called “start menu” does not have the shut down button. For that you need to bring up the Windows Charms Bar. Do this with Windows-C or hover to the lower-right or upper-right corner of the screen.
The Charms Bar on the right contains the five charms:
The power button is hidden within the Settings Charm (the bottom of the five charms).
Clicking on the power button will give you the sleep, shut down, and restart options. The hibernate option appears to be missing. However, it is not. It is just not enabled. You can enable hibernate as described here.
In place of the Start Menu, there is now a Start Screen with application tiles.
Many of the applications that comes with Windows 8 are what are known as Metro apps. Metro apps tend to have a consistent appearance and behavior. In particular, they are not “windowed” and tend to always fill the whole screen. They also do not have a close button. To close a Metro app, hover your mouse to the upper center edge of the screen and drag all the way to the bottom.
Clicking on the new pre-installed Internet Explorer 10 from the Start Screen will bring up Internet Explorer in Metro mode….
Note how the webpage takes up the whole screen, and there are hardly any user controls to be seen. This is the concept of content over chrome. It is only when you do Windows-Z that the Web address bar appears in the bottom and the App bar appears on top.
One drawback of running Internet Explorer 10 in metro mode is that it does not allow browser plug-ins. Therefore, it cannot play Flash.
Unless you switch it to desktop mode. You do this by clicking on the “Page Tools” icon and selecting “View on desktop” …
Now you see Internet Explorer 10 in Desktop mode, which will look much more familiar with the web address bar and browser tabs at the top of the browser chrome.
Another way to switch to the Windows 8 Desktop is the Windows-D command. Or Windows-B will take you to the desktop with the taskbar opened.
To switch back to the start screen, hover your mouse to the lower left corner.
Hovering your mouse to the upper-left corner of your screen will let you this switch to other open applications. Alternatively you can do that with Windows-Tab or Alt-Tab.
There are many other new things in Windows 8, but this was just a quick first look.