|Windows 8 start screen looks like this.|
Desktop mode is where all your applications, such as Outlook or Word, run. It's the same kind of environment that has been standard on personal computers, including Macs and Windows boxes, from time immemorial. Nobody has to tell you how to operate it, it's completely intuitive. Metro mode, on the other hand, is not. It doesn't follow the same logic as desktop mode.
Because you're running all your regular applications in desktop mode you might need to use Adobe Reader in desktop mode as well. For example, let's say someone emails you a PDF document containing numbers some of which you want to type into a spreadsheet. If the spreadsheet - Excel in this case - is running in desktop mode you will also want Adobe Reader to run in desktop mode so that you can just switch your attention back and forth between the two applications, and type in the numbers you need using Excel. If Adobe Reader doesn't work in desktop mode, you have to keep navigating between Metro mode and desktop mode and, of course, you'll forget the numbers you want to bring across, in the process. It's sort of a nightmare.
I tried to get Adobe Reader to come across to desktop mode, but I couldn't do it. On the start screen (in Metro mode) you have 'tiles' each of which represents an application. You can right-click a tile and a menu appears at the bottom of the screen. One of the options you see there is 'pin to taskbar'. This lets you "pin" a symbol for an application to the taskbar in desktop mode. This means you will be able to use that application in desktop mode. If you right-click Word, for example, you get this option. But if you right-click Adobe Reader in metro mode there is no such option. Which means that you cannot use Adobe Reader in desktop mode, it seems.
We are entering the realms of nightmares now. There is no information about this problem on the Microsoft website as far as I can see (if you know where the solution is, please tell me). I called Microsoft support but they said that they do not support this kind of problem, only technical problems. They referred me to the Microsoft website. Nothing. Elsewhere online I can see that other people apart from me are having the same problem with Adobe Reader in Windows 8. But there are no solutions offered. Like I said, if you know how to get Adobe Reader to run in desktop mode in Windows 8, I am all ears.
UPDATE Thurs 10.35am: I should have mentioned this before, but on my computer printing from Adobe Reader in metro mode doesn't work. There's no problem printing from any application in desktop mode, and I can also scan from the printer from there with no problem, so it's not a printer setup problem. In fact, to get what I needed I had to take a screen grab of the page in the PDF shown in metro mode, paste this into my graphics manipulation software, and print from there. Hardly an elegant solution, wouldn't you agree?
And Microsoft on Twitter has said, "We'll look into this." Just a matter of waiting, then.
UPDATE Thurs 3.45pm: @WindowsAU account on Twitter (thanks Helen) told me to go to this page at the Adobe website where there's a link to the installation page for what's called Adobe Reader XI. This is the PDF reader you'll want if you want to open PDFs in desktop mode. Not sure why Microsoft does not include this version of Adobe Reader in its regular PC build.