I swore off the tiled Windows Start screen back in the days of Windows 8 but the Start screen in Windows 10 has its appeal. If you give it a chance, you might discover the same thing.
Windows 8 felt a lot like a shotgun wedding. Whether we wanted it or not, we were all forced into the brand-new and definitely-not-our-Start-menu Start screen. In fact, it wasn't clear how to find the desktop, or even get to the Start screen from the desktop. It was like you were supposed to hold your hands to your forehead and somehow channel instructions from spirit of Steve Ballmer to get anything to work.
For many of us, the Windows 8 Start screen was the symbol of everything Microsoft had done wrong. It upended years of customer experience. It provided no native choice or option. It hid all visual cues. It attempted to force a flawed vision of computing down the throats of its customers.
I am convinced that the mobile revolution and the high uptake of tablets wasn't solely because tablets were the new hotness. I'm convinced that Microsoft's seemingly suicidal effort to collectively piss off all its customers hurried the process along -- and that resulted in a vastly diminished traditional PC business.
Many of us who were committed to the Windows platform routed around the Start screen by installing little add-ons that returned Windows 8 back to something seeming like sanity.
The Start screen was a failed experiment, set to join Microsoft Bob and Clippy in the bowels of business school case studies along with New Coke and Jell-o for Salads (yep, that was a product).
But unlike New Coke, the Start screen wasn't taken out and shot. It eventually wound up buried in Windows 10, accessible as an option.
After Windows 8, Microsoft reluctantly started listening to customers (those it had left). When Windows 8.1 rolled out, there was a barely functional Start menu that made it as clear as possible through its poor design and barely functional functionality that the product's designers were only grudgingly putting the Start menu back in.
Sometime between Windows 8 and Windows 10, something changed. I'm not saying it was the replacement of Ballmer with Satya Nadella, but Windows 10 was clearly the spiritual successor to the ultra-popular Windows 7, and the Start menu proved it...