Using New and Traditional Apps
Because Windows 8 was created with the smaller screens of tablets and smartphones in mind, new applications developed for Windows 8 are designed for full-screen operation. This means that all new Windows 8 apps open to fill the entire screen; you can’t display multiple Windows 8 apps in tiled or stacked windows.
Open the Desktop
Fortunately, you’re not limited to using these full-screen Windows 8 apps. You can still run traditional applications, such as Microsoft Office, in Windows 8. You do so from the Windows 8 Desktop, which is pretty much like the desktop you’re used to from previous versions of Windows. In fact, if you have a lot of older programs that you like to use, it’s likely that you’ll spend most of your time in Windows 8’s Desktop mode.
- Press the Windows key to open the Start menu.
- Click or tap the Desktop tile.
Open a Traditional Desktop App
The Windows 8 Desktop looks and works much the same as the traditional desktop in Windows 7 or Windows Vista. That is, applications open in separate windows that can be resized and moved around the Desktop. And you can still “pin” application shortcuts directly to the Desktop or to the Taskbar that appears at the bottom of the Desktop.
There are some changes to the Desktop, however. First, you no longer have the see-through windows found in the Aero interface of Windows 7 and Windows Vista; all window frames are solid. More important, there is no longer a Start button or Start menu on the Desktop that you use to open new programs and utilities. When you want to open a new application or utility, you have to return to the Windows 8 Start screen. You might find this more time-consuming than using the old Start menu, and I’d agree—but that’s how Microsoft designed it.
- Press the Windows key to open the Start screen.
- Scroll to and then click or tap the tile for the application you want to open.
- The Desktop opens, with the selected application in its own window. You can now use the application as you would normally.