Windows 10 integrates the familiar Windows desktop, in use since 1995, with the tablet-style interface introduced in Windows 8. The tablet interface was originally called "Metro," and the Metro term is still found in numerous articles.
Desktop and Tablet Modes
Unlike Windows 8, Windows 10 starts up in Desktop mode like Windows XP, Vista and 7. However, users can switch to Tablet mode, whereby the Start menu interface resembles Windows 8 (see Win10 Tablet mode).
If you are not familiar with the Windows desktop, see Win abc's and Win tips for desktop fundamentals. All of the examples under the "Win10" entries are based on the major update in 2016 (see Windows 10 Anniversary Update). See Windows 10.
Windows 10 Start Menu (Desktop Mode)
Touch Vs. Keyboard and Mouse
The Start menu displays two independent scrolling lists. All apps are on the left side alphabetically, and all tiles are on the right. Clicking or tapping an app from either side launches the application (for details, see Win10 Start menu
). See live tiles
Starting with Windows 8, Windows is the only environment that runs desktop and tablet apps in the same device, which means Windows 10 can be operated by touchscreen, keyboard and mouse. A touchscreen for desktop use is not absolutely necessary, but it can be very convenient from time to time. Although some apps are really designed for touch, there are generally mouse and keyboard alternatives.
With a Windows 10 tablet, the touchscreen is the primary interface; however, a keyboard can be added, especially for long periods of typing. For a summary of mouse and touch commands, see Win10 mouse tips
and Win10 touch tips
Desktop Mode Vs. Tablet Mode
Windows 10 can operate more like a desktop computer or more like a tablet computer. The Tablet mode makes all apps full screen and even changes the Start menu to resemble the interface in Windows 8, which was the first Windows version to employ tablet-style apps. See Win10 Tablet mode
Switching Between Open Apps
Whether in Desktop or Tablet mode, multiple apps can be open at the same time, and there are a couple ways that you can switch between them (see Win10 Switch apps