So Microsofts new improved operating system Windows 8.1 has its release date set for the 17th of October of this year. This is down-right exciting because it will be completely free to all Windows 8 users. Not only is it great for this reason though, the new improved OS is said to have gone through a serious rehash, mostly due to the fact that some people were having a hard time trying to adjust to the new desktop layout.
I have to admit, that when I first had a look at it, I couldn’t find anything! Where was my start button gone? How could I access the control panel? The whole thing was very confusing. Though I am a MAC user now, I was reared using Windows operating systems and so, making the switch to Windows 8 was, even for me, quite strange.
I thought about this problem, and figured that although the new version is to be released in about a month or so, it might be no harm to demonstrate how you can easily navigate the current system. If you know how to find your way around it, then using the new instalment of the OS should not be an issue.
First and foremost, I would like to begin with a brief comment on the tutorial that the system itself offers users upon installation. To say that this is detailed is an overstatement. We cannot however, blame Microsoft for this, because realistically it is a straightforward demonstration that explains a simple process of navigating the OS. The difficulty lies in making the mental switch between using the older versions of the OS and the newer.
One thing we have to get used to about Windows 8, is that we are not brought straight to our desktop anymore. Moreover the start button that used to sit on the bottom-left of the screen is gone completely. Why? Because Microsoft are now entering into the competitive app-market, and they are making their operating systems more fluid with touch-screen technology.
When we get away from these two key ideas it’s easier to begin getting to grips with using Windows 8. On start-up, we are brought to a multi-coloured start screen that has many applications featured in blocks. By clicking into any of these boxes, a user essentially runs that program. What is important to notice on this screen are three things.
The first is the scroll-bar on the bottom of the screen. Users can drag this to the side to reveal more applications. Most important things like Windows Update, and devices are allotted as a user drags the bar across.
Another thing users should be aware of is that their user-account is on the top right of the screen. By clicking into it, they change their profile-image, but more importantly lock their computers or sign-out. By clicking sign out, a user is brought to a screen where they have the option of shutting-down their computer. By clicking and dragging the bottom of the screen upwards, users are brought to a screen that has all user-accounts listed, where they have the ability to sign back into their own account.
Lastly, the start screen features a box called ‘desktop’. If a user clicks this, they are brought to what appears to be the screen of older versions of the OS. It is a replica of the original start screen, minus the accessibility through the button on the lower-left. They can use this screen to create short-cuts as per usual. The bottom bar has the normal processes on the right, the time, date, and any other running processes that a user have can close if they so wish. On the bottom left is the Internet Explorer and Windows Explorer that is used to search through their computer and all of the files like before.
Another feature that’s new to Windows 8 that users should get used to is the sensitivity of the perimeter of the screen. By holding the mouse to the right of the screen a vertical list should appear. The same is true should they hold the mouse to the left. On the right are important features such as start, search and settings. On the top-left, should users have two or more programs running, the opposite window to which is open currently, should appear as a smaller one where the mouse is. If they click this, that window pops up. If they right click it they have the option to close that program or window. The list on the left features all the programs that are running. To see them, users drag their cursor straight down from the top corner. To jump back from the start screen to the desktop simply click the desktop box. Everything that had been running there, will still be processing behind the start-up screen.
From all of the team, we hope this has been of use to you. We guarantee you will get used to Windows 8 in no time. Be sure to download the new system in October. It’s completely free!
For further questions or information in relation to the Windows 8 operating system, feel free to leave a comment below and we’ll respond as soon as possible.