What is missing from the Start Screen that was in the Start Menu

Hey Guys, I have put together a list of the things that I think are the most important omissions from the Windows 8 Start Screen compared to the Start Menus from previous Start Menus. I know that Windows 8.1 has some of these options if you right click on the Start Button but this still requires a user to learn to do this and change the behavious they have learned from using Windows previously. I am interested to hear if anyone can think of other features of what has been left out or if you think that some of these things are not a big deal.

What you can't do from the Start Screen

The Start Screen has been introduced to replace the old Start Menu. The old Start Menu did not work very well with touchscreen devices -- it was just too hard to try and select anything in the menu with your finger because all the items are too small. The new Start Screen does work extremely well with touch, but there are some things that (especially with a mouse and keyboard) you cannot do at all, or cannot do easily, compared to using a Start Menu. Here is what is missing from the Start Screen compared to the Start Menu:

1. View Recent Documents

When you have been working on a document over the past couple days, and you wish to quickly open it to continue your work, you used to be able to go to the Recent Items list in the Start Menu. You would find a list of all of your most recent items that you have accessed, which makes finding that recent document quick and easy. In Windows 8 and 8.1, you no longer have a list of recent documents. The only option you have now is to open up the application in which you were using the document, and look at the recently opened documents there, or open the file directly, if you remember where you saved it.

2. Access the Control Panel

The Control Panel is something that some people do not use often, but when they do, it is usually for important reasons. The Windows Control Panel in Windows 8 is not located on the Start Screen. It is located in the right hand Charms Bar under the Settings option (but only if you are in the desktop when you access the Charms Bar) or you can right click on the new Start Button in Windows 8.1 and access the Control Panel from the menu that comes up there. These are both very different ways to get to the Control Panel compared to earlier versions, and will take some getting used to.

3. Access the Power Settings

Anyone who has used previous versions of Windows is accustomed to opening the Start Menu and then clicking the Shut Down menu in order to either Sleep, Restart or Power Off their computer. In Windows 8, this has changed. You cannot access power options by clicking the Start Button. To power off your computer, you will need to access the right hand Charms Bar and then click Settings, then Power. Or, right click the new Start Button in Windows 8 and click Shut Down. This is different from what people are used to doing and will take time to get the hang of.

4. Find what you need quickly

The Windows 8 Start Screen is meant to be easily personalized, and it is, but it requires an investment in your time to do so. Whether you set it up like you want, or leave it in its default state (which I imagine many people will), there is one thing that I find very difficult with the Start Screen -- it takes a while to find what I am looking for. This has to do with the tiles on the Start Screen being laid out horizontally rather than vertically. You need to scan each vertical list with your eyes, and then move to the right and scan the next list, and so on until you find what you are looking for, or hit the end without finding it at all. To prove this point, try and find the word Lime in the below list.


I did not even tell you that this list was sorted alphabetically, and I am sure you found the word really quickly. Now try and find the same word Lime in this below table which is sorted like the Windows 8 Start Screen.

Row 1 Row 2 Row 3 Row 4
Orange Apple Pineapple Tomato
Strawberry Melon Peach Lemon
Mango Nectarine Kiwi Lime
Guava Banana Grape Blueberry

Have a bit more trouble finding the word this time? This is what it is like every time you want to open an application in Windows 8 from the Start Screen, only the Start Screen has many more objects to scan through and you need to scroll horizontally to view them all.

5. Access My Documents

My Documents has been a menu item in the Start Menu for a long time, but it not located on the Windows 8 Start Screen. To access My Documents in Windows 8, you need to go through Windows Explorer (which you may need to open from the Start Screen).

Did I miss anything? Do you disagree with the ones I have listed?