I recently decided to give Windows 8 a try on a spare laptop as I was keen to see what Microsoft had done with it. I normally don’t jump on new versions of Windows straight away as I don’t really have a need with the sort of work that I do. But curiosity got the better of me this time.
My first impressions are generally very good. I found not having the traditional Start menu strange at first, but after a while I didn’t really miss it. What is useful is you can press ‘Windows Key + X’ and you get a stripped down version of the start menu with the important links like Control Panel, Run, Search etc.
The new Tiles screen (formally Metro) is quite nice, and I can certainly see how this would be great on a tablet or touch screen. When you work on a desktop machine or traditional laptop, I find it best to think of the Tiles screen as a fancy Start Menu that you can switch too with the Windows Key.
But being as picky as I am, I wanted Windows 8 to boot straight to the desktop. This is possible, but there is a little setup which is very easy to do.
Just follow the next few steps and you will have Windows 8 booting straight to the desktop.
- First load up the Windows Task Scheduler. The easiest way to do this is to go to the Windows 8 search bar and type ‘Task’.
- When the task scheduler is loaded, click on the ‘Create Task’ option on the right side of the window.
- You need to set the highlighted options as per the above screen shot. This makes sure the task executes for any user who logs onto the machine (Only do this if you actually want that to happen for all users.). Then set the ‘Configure for’ option to Windows 8.
- Next create a trigger. Change the ‘Begin the task’ drop down menu to ‘At log on’. This makes the task execute every time a user logs on to the machine. Then make sure the ‘Enabled’ option is ticked.
- Next you need to create an Action. The ‘Action’ drop down box needs to be set to ‘Start a program’. Then set the ‘Program/script’ text box to be :
That is all there is to it. You just need to log off the machine and log back on again. The machine should go straight to the desktop. You can then treat the Tiles view as a beefed up Start Menu.
It’s a small tweak, but for me it made all the difference. I guess it just made the operating system feel more traditional. Perhaps I am just a Luddite, but it make me happy.