This is a personal revelation and based on the response I got on Twitter last night when I discovered this function it is nothing new. In fact, many were shocked that I was unaware of this ability.
However, as someone who likes to consider himself well versed in the world of the Windows 8 client it was a feature/option I had not discovered up to this point.
I started with Windows 8 when the Developer Preview was made available in September 2011 and then the Consumer Preview in February 2012 and now right through RTM and General Availability. That means I have been on Windows 8 in some shape or form for 21 months and I never discovered or tried to close the Windows 8 Desktop.
I have been working and travelling with a Microsoft Surface RT on a daily basis since last November and yet I had not discovered the option to close the Desktop on Windows 8. It was actually an accidental drag from the top of the screen to resize the Windows 8 Desktop that I inadvertently dragged it all the way to the bottom of the Surface RT and it closed.
No longer was it in the stack of apps to cycle through by swiping in from the left side. In fact, it stayed away until I either tapped the Windows 8 Desktop tile on the Start Screen or started a Windows 8 Desktop App like one of the Office 2013 RT programs.
This discovery actually helps me see something that I was not totally seeing in the life of Windows 8 and its users and that is the discoverability of many of the Windows 8 Modern/Metro UI features. I had all of those other areas figured out and studied yet I missed something as simple as the desktop being able to close like any other app on Windows 8.
My months of not knowing that option must be similar to the experience of other users who are having a challenging time discovering the UI elements in Windows 8 in general since they are so different than previous versions of Windows.
Now, this does not mean I am no longer a fan of Windows 8. I use it on a desktop and my Surface RT and it is on every system in our house and it is not going to be removed from those systems anytime soon.
I do however, have a better understanding of the lack of full discoverability in Windows 8 for routine system interaction.
In other words – I get it just a little bit better thanks to my own recent discovery.