As we already know, the start button is gone from Windows 8 even though it is now officially back in Windows 8.1 when booting to the desktop option. The start button was replaced in version 8 with the Charms Menu. Basically it pops out from the right side of the screen and contains shortcuts and icons featuring some basic tasks like search, settings or sharing.
This menu can be opened in several ways. If you use the mouse, move the cursor to the top-right or the bottom-right corners of the screen. If you own a touch screen, then swipe in from the right side of the desktop with our finger or simply press the Windows key + C on your keyboard.
The Charms menu features the following options:
Search: this option opens the search menu so you can find documents, apps or Windows settings. Starting with Windows 8.1, the search function has been extended, including results from Bing and SkyDrive and also shows aggregate results from files, apps or SkyDrive.
Share: is an useful option allowing users to share images or texts between Windows 8 applications.
Start: shows up the start screen which can be opened by pressing the Windows key on your keyboard or the Windows 8 button on your tablet.
Devices: this option is intended to ease working with hardware devices like printers or display projectors.
Settings: somehow similar with the control panel in previous versions of Windows, this option displays Windows 8 settings and controls.
To find documents, media files or apps you may also type directly at the start screen without having to open the Charms menu.
Here is a short video showing how to use the Charms Menu.