The new Windows 8 operating system is now available and it faces users with a lot of changes. There is, for example, no start menu and no task bar on the start screen, which has tiles instead.

Those who would like to switch between programmes must instead move the mouse into the lower left corner of the screen and move downwards. Then a list of recently opened programmes pops up. To use two programmes at the same time, users must drag an application from this list next to the one that’s already opened.

Other important functions are also hidden in the corners of the display for mouse users. If you move the pointer to the lower or upper right, the new Charm Bar opens. This allows users for example to look for files and share them with others on the internet. The Settings includes the control panel, which has the function to shut the computer down.

Microsoft has collected other tips in dealing with its new user interface and put them on its support website. Among the hints is how to close a programme — by clicking on it and dragging it from the top of the screen to the bottom.

But this step is not actually necessary according to the developers as the system does not slow down if many programmes are open. The usual classic programmes meanwhile run like normal on the desktop, complete with task bar and X button in the upper right corner to close it. You can reach the desktop by clicking on the corresponding tile or by using the key combination Windows and D.

Those who would like to get there directly when they start up must use some tricks, according to German computer magazine c’t. The free open source program Classic Shell can be used so that no tile pops up when the computer is started. It can also reconstruct the old start menu — or at least a copy that looks similar. And users can decide which programmes, folders and files are included in the menu.

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