When it comes to computer interfaces, change isn’t always easy. There was a time when many techies spouted the merits of DOS commands versus a ‘more restricted’ GUI experience.

Not everyone was keen on the introduction of the start bar/start menu and the changes from the program manager in Windows 3.x and earlier. With that in mind, it isn’t a huge surprise that there are some users that seem a little upset with the massive changes that come with Metro

Personally, the verdict on whether or not I find Metro useful enough to enter into on a regular basis is still out. Still, I don’t find that the absence of a start button or the start menu gets in my way either.

I recognize that not all users feel that way. This is why, in the past, most major changes in Windows have had ways to disable ‘modern’ features, in favor of the traditional styling.

Even Windows 7 let you choose whether or not you would get the new grouped icons for displaying open programs, or view them in the traditional way (a very tiny icon and text that displayed what was open).

So, many users probably expect the same treatment in Windows 8. I am here to tell you that, unfortunately, Microsoft isn’t looking back with Windows 8. It is all about embracing the future of touch and social interfaces.

While Windows Developer Preview had an easy to access registry hack that would return the start menu, the code has been scrapped totally in Windows 8.

This means that there is no simple hack that can turn back time and give you a Windows 7 style. For many, this might be a deal breaker, to each their own. For those that aren’t sure if they should be worried or not about the new UI, I tell you don’t panic.

Sure, for some of us it may not be all that apparently useful (at least not until more high-quality apps start making the rounds in the near future), but it doesn’t hinder the experience. When in the desktop I almost completely forget I’m even using Windows 8.

It feels no different.

So if you are on the fence, my best advice is to download Windows 8 Consumer Preview while it is free. It should be more than stable enough to use as your primary OS, though you might want to install it on a different partition just in case.

Use in every day that you can. Familiarize yourself with the way it works. It is better to decide that Windows 8 just won’t work for you now, than to make that decision after you’ve ponied up $100+ for a brand new copy.

Will Windows Start Menu eventually make a reappearance on Windows 8? I’m sure it is possible to create an external program that might offer something like it as a replacement. Only time will tell. For now though, it isn’t an option.

What do you think of Metro? Does the news that you can’t enable it seem like a deal breaker to you? Share your thoughts below.

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  • Gborn

    Well, I have a cure to simplify life and ‘start working with pleasure’ – or in other words ‘having start menu back’ – just see http://bit.ly/wE1VmW

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_5WJGC7242GFDP2QXANKF5WTMEA Rex

      Reminds me of a client we upgraded from Windows 98 to Windows 2000, years ago.  Had to find a way to get access to Windows 3 version of File Manager, or she wouldnt touch the machine.  Such aversion to change has me baffled.  My suggestion – get used to it.  You will have to go that route eventually any way.  I highly doubt Windows 3 style File manager will work in Windows 7, 8 or even likely Windows XP.  Point being, sooner or later, you are going to have to get used to it.  Might as well do it sooner than later.

  • Bobbintb

    “I’m sure it is possible to create an external program that might offer something like it as a replacement. Only time will tell. For now though, it isn’t an option.”
    uhhh… are you daft? those programs have been around for ages. and people are already using them for windows 8.

  • Dosse91

    and i don’t offer a known way to buy this piece of shit, since a lot of programs and games don’t work, and the metro ui is an insult to pc users, especially the damn lockscreen. what is this? a pc or a fuckin smartphone??

  • Jim Maney

    I have experience with computers all the back to the TRS-80s. Have seen almost all versions of Windows, less the NT stuff. DOS was my choice over Window 3 and 3.1. LOVE, to this day, W95! Best of the best. Have modest experience with Ubuntu and Linux Mint, even the current stuff. On the Mac side, OS9 on the original iMac, Leopard and Snow Leopard with an Intel Mac. That said, I hate Metro UI. It might be fine for a touch screen on a smart phone or tablet. Even then, I still hate it. I will never want to own Windows 8, and if I weren’t low vision, I would not be using Windows today. Metro has me back into a hateful corner of what to do next. It is wrong for Microsoft to do as they please with no regard for the consumer who purchases all their products.

    • Jim Maney

       UPDATE: W8CP has failed, just as quickly as W8DP did. After a few days, something I cannot fix, sent W8 into a loop of rebooting. Funny, nothing happened in Windows Update the day prior. Both versions of W8 would cause my PC to boot itself in the dark of night. So the dual boot configuration has been deleted and the experiment is over for me.

  • Adam

    My problem with Metro is that it’s just an ugly UI. It’s useful (more or less), but it’s possibly one of the ugliest interfaces I’ve ever seen in a commercial application. With very little possibility for customization it’s either really ugly, kind of ugly, not so ugly.

  • gerryrivers86

    Windows 8 is a beautiful OS and i’m happy that microsoft is evolving the OS like they are because if we had another version of Windows Vista or Windows 7, then people would be complaining that Microsoft isn’t innovating. Good Job Microsoft