Let’s dedicate this post to explain the Windows 8 Desktop. First thing you will notice is Start button is missing. However, there are lots of new features hidden in the corners of the desktop, which we will reveal soon.


Above screen shot illustrate Windows 8 with the default Windows 8 consumer preview desktop wallpaper. To make it easy to understand, I numbered the special areas of the desktop.  As you can see, there are six hot spots. Moving mouse pointer to each location will triggered a task or different charm to be open.

Location 1: As I mentioned before Start button and Start menu are no longer available in Windows 8. Start menu is replaced with Start screen, which we will explain in detail in future posts. Moving mouse pointer to lower-left corner of the desktop will pop up the Start screen shortcut. Another click on the shortcut will take you to the Start screen. This is the Start button replacement, which you can apply from full screen applications.

Equivalent keyboard shortcut is Windows key on the keyboard.

Once you move mouse pointer to the lower-left hand corner and the Start screen shortcut appeared, move mouse pointer towards top left hand corner. It will open the currently running metro app charm. This will not include the desktop application.

Location 2: Move mouse pointer to the top-left hand corner to see the most recently used metro application. It will not display and recently open desktop application. Drag the mouse pointer towards the bottom-left corner to display the list of open metro applications.

Equivalent keyboard shortcut is Windows key + Tab.

Locations 3: Mouse pointer will turn to hand as you move it pointer to the top border of the desktop. Then drag it down and drop it in left or right hand borders to display desktop in left or right hand side, leaving space on the other hand to run another metro application. To open another running metro app in the space available simply move the mouse pointer to location 2 and click on a running application. This will not applicable when you run a desktop application maximised.

Equivalent keyboard shortcut is Windows key + . (period).

Location 4 and 6: Moving mouse pointer to the top or bottom right hand corner will open the charms bar and metro clock.

Equivalent keyboard shortcut is Windows key + c.

Location 5: Move your mouse to the show desktop button at the end of the task bar. It will transparent the open windows to peek at the desktop and restore windows as you move the mouse away from the show desktop button. You can click on the show desktop button will minimise all the open windows. Click again to restore.

On top of above features, you will enjoy all the old desktop feature, task bar, right click menu, desktop wallpapers, clock, notification and desktop icons. Only thing you will miss is the start button.