This is equivalent to tapping the Windows button on a Windows 8 touch-screen tablet—It simply opens the Metro Start screen. While the Windows key has been quite useful since Vista, in Windows 8 it has the potential to be a real productivity booster, and a habit worth forming.
Just Start Typing
From the Metro Start screen, this will bring up app-related results by default. But you can switch the results to search within Settings or Documents, or even to the Windows Store or specific apps.
Yup, the good old app-switcher from Windows days of yore still works, and it brings up a panel showing all running apps you can switch among, whether Metro or desktop style.
Another blast from the past, hitting the famous three-finger salute lets you Lock, Switch user, sign out, or open the Task Manager. In Windows 8, the screen shown by this combo also lets you turn on Accessibility options and power-down options, Sleep, Shut Down, and Restart, but it doesn’t offer to let you change passwords.
If you want to go directly to the task manager, this key combo is your ticket. Another classic from earlier Windows days.
Drag to bottom of screen
Windows 8 lets you click, hold, and drag a Metro app to the bottom of the screen to close it, just like you can with your finger on a touch screen.
Right-clicking anywhere in a Metro-style app opens its menu, which will usually appear as an icon bar along the bottom of the screen (Microsoft calls this the “App Bar”). In traditional desktop-style apps, right-clicking does whatever it would have done in Windows 7. Right-clicking on the “Start Button” from the desktop brings up a bunch of geeky choices like Event Viewer, Device Manager, Disk Management, and command prompts.
This one is really handy: It opens the Windows Explorer in desktop mode, whether you’re in Metro or desktop.
Since Windows 8 does away with the Show Desktop button in Windows 7’s lower-right corner, this keyboard shortcut takes its place. To temporarily peek at the desktop, hit the Windows Key and the comma key.
Opens the Charm bar. Keyboarders may find this a lot more convenient than mousing to a right corner to access these main system functions. In fact, some of the Charms even have their own keyboard combo with the Windows key: I—Settings, Q-Search, H-Share, K-Devices.
11. Windows Key-Enter.
This could actually be one to avoid: It turns on the Narrator, which reads aloud everything Windows is doing. At one point during my testing of Windows 8 Consumer preview, my tablet started reading to me and I had no idea why. Windows Key-Enter was the culprit.