Progress is a nice word. But change is its motivator. And change has its enemies. -Robert Kennedy
Windows 8 has its supporters and its haters. I agree with both.
I think the Start Screen is a Good Thing™. I'll try to explain the thought process which led me here. First of all, I wanted a point of comparison. The Start Menu seemed like the obvious choice. The Start Menu was introduced in Windows 95, and was no small contributor to the phenomenal success... of Windows XP. Just like everything else, it wasn't perfect on arrival. Microsoft refined and improved the feature over time, leading to the hullabaloo we have today about it being removed.
As with so many other changes, people are being blind and narrow-minded. They confuse the first iteration of a feature for the full potential of that feature, before posting a slew of arguments based entirely on that faulty premise. They then get frustrated when people ignore their ill-conceived rants.
Some have derided the Operating System as being designed for a touch screen. I agree; though I don't consider it to be a problem. Touch screens are another advancement in technology and Microsoft are quite right to update their product to accommodate those who use it. Failure to do so would be nothing short of a disaster, as it would damage Microsoft's ability to stay relevant and either limit Windows to offices or eventually kill it altogether. How people don't see this is beyond me.
I want to be quite clear on this. Touch screens have arrived and are here to stay. Just as important to grasp is that the mouse and keyboard are staples which are going nowhere. People use computers for different tasks, and as technology advances this will become more and more evident.
Touch screens are far more convenient when you just want to check social networks and the like. However the classic mouse & keyboard set-up is far superior for office work, where having your arm fully extended all day long would be pretty brutal. I also prefer it to touch when gaming.
I think it would have made sense for Microsoft to introduce the Start Screen before removing the Start Menu. Users would have been less hostile toward it were it were simply another feature, rather than it being the reason they lost a tool they have relied upon since time immorial. However Microsoft are caught in a bind, as returning it now would make it much harder to remove in the future.
There's a lot that Microsoft got right with Windows 8. The new Task Manager is very nice. The Start Screen is fine, controversial though it may be. The changes under the hood which improve speed and security are both more than welcome. I love snapping Skype to the side of the screen.
The new Metro UI was necessary change; but the removal of the Start button was not. I'm not a fan of the magic corners. A Start button bringing you to the Start Screen strikes me as simply being superior design. Plus, having Windows 8 deprive users of more familiarity than necessary is not wise.
Just my $0.02, let me know what you think in the comments. :)