Windows 8

Windows 8.1 Guide

Start Screen

In Windows 8 and 8.1, the start menu has been replaced with the start screen. Instead of the old Windows Start Menu style which has just a list of folders and program short cuts, Windows 8 has changed it to a tile based App screen where you can run Apps by either touch (if you have a touch sensitve monitor or tablet) or clickin g on it by a mouse.

Start screen

You can switch to the traditional desktop by clicking on the Desktop tile on the left hand side.

The Start Screen settings can be changed in Taskbar and Navigation control panel.

Navigation

In Windows 8.1, you can configure Windows not to display the new start screen by enabling the following options:
a) When I sign in or close all applications on a screen, go to the desktop instead of Start.
b) Show my desktop background on Start.
c) Show Start on the display I'm using when I press the Windows logo screen.

You can get the classic start menu by installing third party addons including: Vista Start Menu, StockDock menu, Start Menu 7, Vistart and Classic Shell.
e.g.

Classic Shell

If you wish you can go direct to the folder where the start menu shortcuts are stored by browsing to C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu .