One common complaint about Windows 8.0 is that switching between the desktop and the Start screen is somehow jarring. I disagree. Nevertheless, Microsoft has provided a very nice way to unify the Start screen and desktop by using the same background for both. Add to this the separate function of using Bing Desktop to change the background each day to the Bing photo of the day.
Unfortunately, this shared background feature is off by default.
Compare the first pair of screens showing the Windows 8.0 Start screen on the left and the desktop (using Bing Desktop) on the right:
Below are 8.1 screens:
(You can select any of these screenshots for a larger view, though I think the thumbnails convey the difference.)
Display the desktop background (wallpaper) as the Start screen background:
1. On the Start screen, select Settings (from Charms or Win+I).
2. Select Personalize from the Settings panel.
3. From the grid of backgrounds at the top of the panel, select the last image in the last row — this is the current desktop background.
Note: you can also access this from the desktop using Taskbar properties, then the Navigation tab. In the Start screen section, select Show my desktop background on Start. Select OK.
Now, whatever image you choose for your desktop background will also appear on the Start screen. One option is to select a slideshow of your own photos.
To add Bing Desktop:
The primary function of Bing Desktop is to give you access to Bing for search, as well as updates in categories such as News, Photos, and Videos. However, even if you never use Bing Desktop for searching, you will enjoy the wallpaper function.
1. Download and install Bing Desktop.
2. The Bing wallpaper (desktop background) is enabled by default, but you can confirm that by selecting Information (the I in a circle): select Make the Bing homepage image your desktop background.
Now, each day another new and great photo will appear on your desktop and on your Start screen. (You can use one and not the other, if you prefer.)