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it does kind of strike me as useless because the tiles arent any different to placing tiles on the desktop. it is also very easy to change menus so the text is larger, and all files in my computer so they always display as tiles. enough integration right there. the only reason i can really see for the start menu is for 'windows apps'- which only seems to be a way of forcing software developers to buy into this stupid schizophrenic operating system.
The main point of the Windows 8 start screen is to integrate the PC with tablets...I think. Plus there are specific apps that make use of the start screen. Of course, there are many applications that do not, and use the desktop, so I’m not sure that I really see the utility of that. I suppose I almost look at Windows 8 as dual boot, with the mobile/touch screen oriented start screen as one “OS” complete with widgets like we have become accustomed to with our tablets and smartphones, and the desktop functioning as a traditional Windows OS.
With Windows 8.1, you now can configure your PC to just boot to the desktop if you don’t want to bother with the start screen.