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Windows 8 'Metro' Start Screen is Unavoidable

Microsoft has apparently done away with shortcuts to the traditional Windows desktop

Bad news for people who hate Metro (or whatever Microsoft's calling it now): there's apparently no way for users to get around the tiled Start menu interface in Windows 8.

According to ZDNet, there is no way to boot straight to the traditional Windows desktop in the final version of Windows 8--which is now shipping to manufacturers. In previous tech builds of the operating system there was a shortcut for going directly to the desktop.

While the tiled Start screen is supposed to make users' lives easier, it may do the exact opposite for some. For example, a power user who has no use for the simplified Metro-style apps of Windows 8, and who needs the more powerful traditional apps. Or a business user, whose work computers only need to run a cash register application.

For these folks, the tiled Start screen is more of a useless nuisance than anything, and will only slow down their work. The only solution is to use new shortcuts in Windows 8. Pressing the Windows and D keys will take you to the traditional Windows desktop, while Windows + B takes you from the new tiled interface to the currently active traditional desktop application. Finally, Windows + M loads the traditional Windows desktop from the start screen, and minimizes all applications.

Right now these shortcuts are the only way to get around the new interface. Whether this is a smart move is debatable, but Microsoft could be doing this to force everyone--consumers and business users--to get used to a new Windows experience.

In the end, is that a bad thing?

For more tech news and commentary, follow Ed on Twitter at @edoswald, on Facebook, or on Google+.

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