The start menu is gone. The traditional Microsoft desktop trademarked by that infamous landscape of a green grass field is hidden. In its place stands Windows 8, Microsoft’s new operating system.

The biggest change is the start-up screen. Previously, when logging in, one saw a desktop with shortcuts to applications such as Chrome or Word.

Now one sees those same applications but enlarged and formatted in such a way to resemble that of a smartphone background.

This new screen gives the owner the ability to customize the homescreen, showing anything from games, the Internet, Microsoft Office programs, etc., and a simple panning to the right shows a sidebar filled with helpful tools such as the share button. This tiled approach comes as a nice refresher to the bland and repetitive shortcuts from Windows 7.

While this start-up screen is the first sight a user sees when starting the computer, the actual desktop still exists. It is hidden within a couple of mouse clicks and looks and functions the same as before. The only difference is the lack of a start button, which may surprise some users.

The new Microsoft software was released Friday, Oct. 26, and although it was based on Windows 7, Windows 8 varies greatly from the seventh edition. The new softwares include Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro and Windows RT (for tablets).
Microsoft’s new personalized and sleek setup works for any computer and is attached to a Microsoft account that remotely one can log into.

While Microsoft has updated their PC experience, a more publicized addition is the Windows 8 tablet experience, which now runs on the OS of Windows RT.

These tablets have interchangeable magnetic keyboards, stands built in and an USB port.

The main difference in software is that the Windows RT runs off the store. This means it updates constantly, but is dependent on the apps on the store.

With all these changes, navigating the new software can get complicated. As a result, Microsoft has added tutorials in their store with posted schedules online to help users get used to their new computer.

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