Remember the days where closing a program was as easy as clicking an X in the upper right corner of your screen?
In Windows 7 and Vista the X was a red rectangle hanging out in the corner. In Windows XP, you had the ubiquitous red X square in the same place. And in antiquated versions of Windows such as Windows 98 and 2000 you had an unadorned, steel gray X to click.
I like simplicity but sometimes it can feel like Microsoft obfuscates usability for the sake of emerging trends. I feel like it doesn’t thoughtfully investigate what users really want and instead just gives them what, it as a company, wants.
Windows 8.1 still touts the conventional X on the traditional desktop but if this is your first time using Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 you’re probably wondering how to close all those apps you opened from your Start Screen.
Apps were designed to vindicate all the touchscreen users out there who wanted an easy way to navigate the operating system. That’s why when you boot up your computer the first thing you see is a variegated jumble of oversized boxes, or “titles” as Microsoft calls them.
But this is the thing: Windows 8.1 demands that users with touchscreen handicapped devices, become proficient in not only accessing the traditional desktop but also working their way around the new tile glutted Start Screen.
And as much as you may dissent with Microsoft’s decision to “tile out” the Start Screen, tiles are now an indelible feature of the operating system and there is no sign that it will go away anytime soon. That’s why in this article I’m going to show you how to grip the tiles and close them out.
The easiest way to close open Apps on the Start Screen, is to just press Alt + F4. This key combo also closes windows on the Desktop; however, if you have greater dexterity using the mouse, you’ll have to do the following click and drag dance:
1. Move the mouse to the top center of the screen until the cursor becomes a little hand
2. Click and drag the window to the bottom of the screen
3. Hold it there for 2 seconds.
4. The App is closed when it does a little flip and slides out of view.
5. Release the mouse
Honestly, I find it disconcerting that Microsoft makes you wait a few seconds to close Apps.
Yes, it’s only 2 seconds but it makes the OS feel less fluid and bruises usability. On the one hand, I understand the Start Screen was designed for touch devices; however, I still feel like Microsoft missed the mark and virtually ignored non-touch users who can’t use gestures to navigate the Start Screen. True, Windows 8.1 added the Start Menu button back and provides other ways of getting around the Start Screen, but I still feel like Microsoft is trying to coerce the public into buying their newer, more expensive touch devices.
Surface… <cough> <cough>
I don’t know… what do you guys think about Microsoft’s decisions lately?