Don’t skip it! A more descriptive title would have been “The F8 and F2 boot menus are gone on Windows 8 and you need to read this post to do your job, IT Pro.”
Windows 8 is designed to run on hardware that boots too fast for a human to react through a keyboard, requiring new methods to get to a boot menu. Note down what the article describes so that when you need to troubleshoot a slow logon or slow boot, you can get into Safe Mode and other diagnostic states (PC Settings, shift+restart, shutdown.exe /o /r, msconfig.exe). All of these apply to Windows 8 Developer Preview and Windows Server “8” Beta, which you can get your hot little hands on right now.
It is also important to note – and not mentioned in the article – that on Windows Server 2012 only, you can still use F8. The new boot menu system eventually gets you back to the familiar menu with your favorite DSRM option too, so don’t feel like we’re making you relearn everything:
Also not mentioned but preemptively answered now: while shutdown /o was updated to support the new boot menus, the restart-computer Windows PowerShell cmdlet was not.
– Ned “Doc Martens” Pyle