Tag Archives: Internet Explorer

Getting used to the Metro interface in Windows 8

I’m coming to grips with Windows 8.

You don’t have a Start button. But your desktop looks just like it does (sans Start button) in Windows 7.

What you do have is the Metro interface, a blocky stream of “things you can click on” that, in the lower left corner, has a blocky link to the “real” desktop.

Some things are downright tricky. Like how there’s a Skype “app” in the Metro interface (I’m sure they still don’t call it Metro, but what they DO call it escapes me), but you can install the “Windows Desktop” version of Skype yand have it … on your Windows desktop.

When the system told me I HAD to “merge” my Skype account and Microsoft account in order to use Skype in the Metro interface without explaining what such a merger would do — would I keep my “unique” Skype user name, for instance? — I balked and went to the Skype site and downloaded (and subsequently installed) the Windows Desktop version of Skype.

You still have a traditional Control Panel to adjust settings. But there are things you can only get to in the Metro interface — or so it looks to me.

When I set up the computer, my Internet connect was a bit shaky, and the “get a Microsoft” portion of the process didn’t take. I had to reboot.

Then I found myself with TWO accounts on the computer. One with a Microsoft account connected to it, one without. Of course I did all my subsequent setup in the one without the Microsoft account.

It could have gone either way, but after deleting the superfluous account (the Microsoft-connected one), I used these instructions from Paul Thurrott (who appears to be Mr. Windows) to convert my “local” account to a Microsoft-connected account.

Why? WHY??? you ask? Well, supposedly all those Metro apps I’m not using work better with a Microsoft-connected account.

Before I end this entry, I’d like to report that the Internet Explorer browser is still a steaming pile. All these years and they couldn’t improve the font rendering? Everything looks awful. Glad I got Firefox before I did most anything. I’ll get Google Chrome in the near future.

I’ve committed to running Windows 8 for the time being not just for the novelty but because I need to USE this computer. And I’m more than a little befuddled by Secure Boot and UEFI. Luckily I can get the apps I need to run, and many of them are free (as in libre) software.