Customizing the Metro style Windows 8 Start screen

Over at ZDNet, I’ve put together a blog post that explains why some Windows 8 testers are unhappy with the Metro style Start screen. I also have some recommendations on how to customize Start to overcome some of those objections.

I explain, in detail, how to give your Start screen a complete makeover so it becomes a useful gateway to the Windows desktop. I also introduce a handful of keyboard shortcuts that will make switching between the Start screen and the desktop much easier.

The blog post is here.

For the step-by-step instructions, see The Metro hater’s guide to customizing Windows 8 Consumer Preview.

Here’s what you’ll find in that gallery:

It also includes the five Windows 8 keyboard shortcuts you must know:

Much of this material will, of course, appear in the upcoming revision of Windows 8 Head Start.

3 thoughts on “Customizing the Metro style Windows 8 Start screen

  1. I read your blog yesteday and customized my Win 8 laptop last night. Thanks for all the great tips!

  2. Great tips Ed. I finally got a touch tablet in for a REAL test of Windows 8. It does work quite nicely there. Enjoying it a lot in that hardware setup. Though I still can’t do much with Windows 8 on a traditional desktop, even with keyboard shortcuts. I seriously think MS should allow an option of start menu style. I really don’t see what that seems too much to ask. Why do they need to be buttheads about this?

  3. Running Windows 8 beta on ThinkPad W500 (non-tablet) and solid state drive. Wicked fast! No real problems navigating the Metro learning curve. I did get alarming disk errors when using a Crucial SSD in the Ultra Bay slot, but a mechanical Western Digital did not have any troubles. (firmware problem in the Crucial, perhaps?) Unlike the Crucial, No SSD disk errors with the SSD in the main slot for the OS. Trying to swipe the mouse pointer around in the corners for apps is dumb; better to use Windows key+ X, etc. for keyboard shortcuts.
    I tracked down a Vista vintage driver set for my ATI switchable graphics, so now, I can run Display Port out to an external monitor.
    In a word, Windows 8 is “likable”.

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