Getting Started with Windows 8

Microsoft's Windows 8

Source: Microsoft’s Windows 8 | Official Online Store

Following two public betas and over 1.24 billion hours of pre-release usage time, Microsoft’s Windows 8 has finally arrived. The company’s latest operating system is considered the beginning of a new era for the world’s most popular OS. This includes a touchable interface also called as the Modern UI.

Aside from that, the new OS also brings in some welcome improvements to Windows. These improvements include a redesigned Windows Explorer, better peripheral discovery, and easier back-up and restore features.

Pricing and Availability

After the big launch event in New York last Thursday, Microsoft made the Windows 8 available for download worldwide the next day.

Existing users can upgrade their computer’s OS for $15, provided that their machines were bought after June 2. Those who are running other Windows 7-, Vista-, or XP-based machines can upgrade their devices for $40.  However, potential users have to make sure that their PC has the required specs to handle Windows 8.

Using Windows 8

The installation of Windows 8 appears to be more streamlined than its predecessors. However, beneath the new interface is the same OS that people have come to know and love. Once a user is done installing the Windows 8, the rest of the process will be painless. In fact, it feels like using Windows 7.

What makes it different from the previous versions is the missing Start button. Running the mouse along the edge of the screen also brings out a few extra tools like the App Switcher. Regardless, this is one feature that users can master or ignore.

There is an “Express Settings” option that enables the Windows Update automatically, as well as the Do Not Track feature in IE. The OS also allows users to opt out of a bevy of Microsoft’s analytics and reporting systems. Basically, users can start messing around with their new Start Menu once purchase and installation is done.

For desktop users, they can easily navigate between the Windows 8 Start screen tiles using the arrow keys and select it by hitting Enter. To do this, just relocate the Desktop tile to the top left corner of the screen. In addition, the fastest way to shut down a PC running Microsoft’s latest OS is by pulling up the “Charms” menu along the edge of the screen, and then selecting “Power.”

Whether you like it or not, Microsoft Windows 8 is here to stay. That’s why it’s important to know the company’s latest OS better before upgrading your machine or buying a new Windows 8-powered device.

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