As I stated in my last post, I am going to do a series of the new features in Server 2012. Today, I am going to start with the most obvious change… the start menu that has died and is no longer present. Rumor mills have it that Microsoft is determined to leave it out, by removing all old legacy code that would allow you to even hack it back.
To find the Start Menu with 2012, just press the Windows Key on your keyboard or move (actually hover and it might take a few tries to catch) your mouse to the lower left corner of the screen. (As seen below)
A small windows pops up and when you click that small window the Start Menu in tiles format (Metro UI) appears. The new Start Menu looks like you see below.
In the developer preview it was possible to switch back to the good old start menu layout by changing a group policy. Unfortunately that does not work anymore. I have not found the way yet, to get the old Start Menu back the way it appears in Windows Server 2008 R2 without installing software. For more information on why this was changed, please see this article: Why Microsoft murdered the Start button in Windows 8
To log off, simply click your account and you will be able to either log off or lock your session as seen below.
Although the new menu above looks fancy, I am not a big fan to have this feature on my servers and to be honest, I still prefer to have the old Start Menu, especially when going to Administrator tools.
Now that you have found the Start Menu, try to find the Shutdown/Restart buttons! Go ahead I dare you to find them on your own and without scratching your head. Just kidding, to find the Shutdown or Restart button move your mouse to the top right corner of the screen (or the lower right corner of the screen). Three icons on the right side of the screen pop-up as you see below.
The top button is the Search that you can use to find applications (PowerShell, SQL, Windows Explorer, etc.)
The middle button also provides access to the new Metro UI Start Menu
The bottom button is the Settings icon and that’s the one you need to do any shutdown or restarts! (You can also use command line tools)
Click on Power and it becomes clear what you need to do to either shutdown or restart. (Plus disconnect)