I took the plunge and upgraded my primary desktop system to Windows 8 Release Preview. I could have waited for the RTM in a week, but I went for it. After working with it on my Samsung Slate for several weeks and loving the experience, I felt like I was ready.
The upgrade went smoothly. I was prepared for all the new features and navigation methods involved. After all, I'm halfway through writing my next book, entitled "Using Windows 8" to be published by Que, so I should be comfortable with Windows 8 by now. However, I wasn't prepared for how visually jarring it was to hit the Windows key to get to the Start Screen (formerly known as Metro) and all of a sudden have my 24-inch monitor become a sliding whirl of color.
[ Windows 8 is coming, and InfoWorld can help you get ready with the Windows 8 Deep Dive PDF special report, which explains Microsoft's bold new direction for Windows, the new Metro interface for tablet and desktop apps, the transition from Windows 7, and more. | Stay abreast of key Microsoft technologies in our Technology: Microsoft newsletter. ]
That's right, Windows 8 is making me sick. Using the Start Screen at 24 inches is like going on a virtual ride that doesn't really move anywhere but instead jerks the room around to make you feel like you blew up the Death Star. There are already third-party fixes available for this abomination, which I'll get into in a minute. But first, allow me to rant a little more.
I understand that the formerly-known-as-Metro UI is meant to emphasize "content over chrome" and that the idea is to get the functional pieces out of the way of the visual content. But with the Windows Desktop, we still have a taskbar and notification tray, so what would have been the harm of retaining a Start button and menu? Sure, this would mean not going to the Start Screen as often, but with the way my stomach is churning every time I need to open up a new app on my desktop, I really could use that little Start button.
Windows 8: Your way or Microsoft's way?
In my desperation to stop the spinning, I reached out to StarDock.com and downloaded its free Start8 solution that puts the Start Screen into a Start Button on the desktop. I wouldn't say it gives me exactly what I want -- that is, my old Start button -- but at least I can contain the Start Screen to a smaller portion of my display and thereby avoid the nausea.