Chapter 2. Hacking the Start Screen, the Windows 8 Interface, and Apps

The new Windows 8 main interface—once called Metro, and now simply called Windows 8—is one of the biggest changes to Windows in several generations. Its Start screen sports big tiles, many of which are live and supply you with information without your doing anything. Windows 8 apps (which were once called Metro apps and which I call Windows 8 native apps) are specifically written for this new interface and also look different from anything you’ve seen in Windows before. For example, they lack menus and controls in their main interfaces and run full-screen.

This new Windows 8 interface and its apps may not seem hackable, but there’s plenty you can get at, and you’ll find out how to do that in this chapter. Whether you want to hack your way through the new Start screen, force Windows 8 apps to run side by side, or more, you’ll find it here.

Hack #8. Create an Application Folder for Quick Launches on the Start Screen and the Desktop

Looking for a quick way to launch Desktop apps from the Windows 8 Start screen or from anywhere, for that matter? Here’s how to do it, using the hidden Application Folder.

Once upon a time, in earlier versions of Windows, if you wanted to run an application but didn’t see its icon anywhere, there was a quick and simple solution: Head to the Application folder, look for the proper subfolder, and find the .exe file that launches the program.

That’s all well and good for earlier versions of ...

Get Windows 8 Hacks now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from nearly 200 publishers.