In previous versions of Windows, Microsoft had graphics or words to click on so you would know what to do. Because Windows 8 is the same operating system from smart phones to desktops, they cannot afford the screen real estate. The Start Menu, Toolbar, System Tray, etc. would use up nearly all of a smart phone's screen. So, now you're going to have to know where to click or what keys to press to do what you want. It's a big change. So, while a lot of Windows 8 is pretty much Windows 7, there are a huge number of significant differences/improvements/nuisances.

The major item of confusion is what are essentially two desktops. One is the familiar one from Windows 7 (missing the Start Button and menu) and the other looks like a very large smart phone, now called Modern. The Modern interface will allow you to launch all your regular Windows programs as well as the smaller, mainly intended for smart phones, apps. When you launch programs, they come up in the standard desktop environment -- you'll see the taskbar at the bottom and your regular desktop background, if the program isn't maximized. When you launch an app, it comes up in full-screen mode only (no way to have it take up half the screen) and everything looks like a large phone.