When your computer completes its startup routine, called booting, you will find yourself looking at a screen displaying the Windows interface. This means what you see and interact with.
The Desktop and the Taskbar. are the two main parts of the interface where you do your work.
Windows 8 and 8.1: The first interface you see in Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 is a set of tiles. This user interface was originally called Metro and now is now called Modern by Microsoft. There are tiles of various sizes for the programs (called apps) that are pinned to the Start screen. Some tiles open a full-screen app, designed to be easy to use on a tablet or smart phone, like the Music tile below. Other tiles open a program in the Desktop interface, like the Word 2013 tile below. To get to the Desktop (where other versions of Windows start out), you click the tile that shows your current Desktop background.
Let's inspect the parts on a simplified desktop.
All current versions of Windows are very similar in the way the Desktop behaves but they look different. Windows can be personalized in so many ways that your own desktop probably looks quite different from the simplified illustrations below.
Windows 8: Windows 8 does not show a Start button on the Taskbar.
Windows 8.1: Has an icon at the far left end, but it switches the view to the Start screen instead of opening a Start menu.
Click on one of the Windows versions listed at the left below to change the look of the illustration.
Hmmm. You have to know a bit about getting around in Windows in order to read the lessons about getting around in Windows! How crazy is that!?
|Click on a choice at
the left to switch to a different look
for the simplified Desktop and Taskbar.
Click on a label or area of the illustration above and see an explanation below.
(Google Chrome is sometimes showing an outline of the hotspot that you clicked on down inside the revealed text. No clue as to why!)
Show all explanations at once (good for printing)