Monday, October 22, 2012

Fresh Windows, but Where’s the Start Button?

 Over the years, Keith McCarthy has become used to a certain way of doing things on his personal computers, which, like most others on the planet, have long run on Microsoft's Windows software.

But last week, when he got his hands on a laptop running the newest version of Windows for the first time, Mr. McCarthy was flummoxed.

Many of the familiar signposts from PCs of yore are gone in Microsoft's new software, Windows 8, like the Start button for getting to programs and the drop-down menus that list their functions.

It took Mr. McCarthy several minutes just to figure out how to compose an e-mail message in Windows 8, which has a stripped-down look and on-screen buttons that at times resemble the runic assembly instructions for Ikea furniture.

"It made me feel like the biggest amateur computer user ever," said Mr. McCarthy, 59, a copywriter in New York.


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