Windows 8, Microsoft’s latest and greatest OS is here to stay whether we like it or not. One of the biggest gripes about Windows 8 has been Microsoft’s insistence that people use the “Start Screen” which is the center piece in the new OS. The Start Screen was intended to be the next stage of evolution for the Start Menu. If you’re running on a touch based device, the Start Screen seems like a good idea but not for the rest of the world that is still using keyboards with touchpads/mice.
With this said, here’s some tips that will allow you to take advantage of the modern operating system but also have the classic elements as well.
- Get Classic Shell. Classic Shell adds the Start Menu back to Windows so that you don’t have to use the Start Screen to launch applications. It’s also highly customizable so you can make it look like Windows 7, XP, or even classic versions of Windows like XP or 98.
- Get ModernMix. ModernMix is a shell add on that allows “Modern” UI apps to run in a windowed mode rather than full screen. Switching between apps on Windows 8 without this can be a pain in the rear without something like the task bar. Adding ModernMix will make the new apps look the same as they do in full screen mode, but adds the task bar and the ability to minimize, maximize, and return apps to full screen of you care.
- Find non-Modern UI versions of apps. I personally don’t like Skype for Windows 8. Skype is available, at least for now, in a non-Modern UI form. I downloaded and installed it instead of the Modern UI version on Skype.
- Get Google Chrome or Firefox. Need I say more?
- Get VLC. VLC is a must for Windows 8 users. Windows Media is noticeably absent from Windows 8, and out of the box it can’t play DVD’s installing VLC will allow you to consume just about any sort of media file available and well as watch movies on your laptop too…
So there they are: some tips to make Windows 8 more familiar to the classic Windows experience…