The Windows 8 Beginner's Guide by Jonathan Moeller - Read Online
The Windows 8 Beginner's Guide
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Summary

Intended for new Windows 8 users, this book gives you an overview of Microsoft's new tablet operating system. Lavishly illustrated with over 200 screenshots, this book will explain:

-The differences between the editions of Windows 8.

-How to get the most out of the Start Screen.

-The difference between using a local account and a Microsoft Account with your Windows 8 computer.

-Windows 8's new Charms Bar.

-Windows 8's App Bar.

-How to create and manage user accounts.

-How to find and install applications from the new Windows 8 store.

-How to manage the Windows 8 Desktop.

-Use File History to protect your data with regular backups.

-Windows 8's enhanced Task Manager.

-Manage Windows 8's wired and wireless network settings.

-Use the PC Settings app to manage your Windows 8 device.

-How to shut down, restart, and lock a Windows 8 computer.

Published: Jonathan Moeller on
ISBN: 9781301507832
List price: $2.99
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Book Description

Intended for new Windows 8 users, this book gives you an overview of Microsoft's new tablet operating system. Lavishly illustrated with over 200 screenshots, this book will explain:

-The differences between the editions of Windows 8.

-How to get the most out of the Start Screen.

-The difference between using a local account and a Microsoft Account with your Windows 8 computer.

-Windows 8's new Charms Bar.

-Windows 8's App Bar.

-How to create and manage user accounts.

-How to find and install applications from the new Windows 8 store.

-How to manage the Windows 8 Desktop.

-Use File History to protect your data with regular backups.

-Windows 8's enhanced Task Manager.

-Manage Windows 8's wired and wireless network settings. 

-Use the PC Settings app to manage your Windows 8 device.

-How to shut down, restart, and lock a Windows 8 computer.

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Introduction

Welcome to The Windows 8 Beginner's Guide. If you've never used Windows 8 before, you've come to the right place. Windows 8 is radically different from previous versions of Windows. Nevertheless, Windows 8 is just as capable and powerful as its predecessors. You can use Windows 8 to perform a variety of computing tasks, such as office work, Internet browsing, listening to music, and playing games. In this book, we'll show you how to use the new Windows 8 interface and get the most out of your Windows 8 computer.

WHAT IS WINDOWS 8?

Windows 8 is a massive change from previous versions of Windows. For years, the family of Windows operating systems has been the dominant desktop operating system on personal computers. A desktop operating system is an operating system that relies upon a graphical user interface (GUI) and a mouse. The user of the computer employs the mouse to click on icons representing programs and files. For years the desktop operating system was the dominant paradigm for personal computers.

All this began to change in 2010 with the release of Apple's iPad tablet computer. The iPad took a radically different approach to the user interface. Instead of using a mouse, the iPad came equipped with a touchscreen and large, finger-friendly icons. Users controlled the iPad with touchscreen gestures and tapping, rather than with a mouse. The iPad was the first successful mass-market tablet computer, and remains the dominant tablet at the time of this writing.

Microsoft had for years attempted to design a tablet of its own. It produced Windows XP Tablet PC Edition, and both Windows Vista and Windows 7 came with built-in tablet and touchscreen capabilities. However, this attempts had a fatal weakness. These versions of Windows attempted to graft the desktop experience onto the tablet, using a stylus in lieu of a mouse. This invariably proved quite difficult - a stylus is not as precise an instrument as a mouse pointer, and numerous sections of Windows require precise clicking to get anything done. Windows-based tablet PCs never really caught on, and certainly never experienced anything like the iPad's exponential growth. 

To combat the competitive threat from the iPad, Microsoft developed Windows 8. Windows 8 is a new paradigm - an operating system that attempts to combine both a desktop interface and a tablet interface. The idea is that when using Windows 8 on a touchscreen device, you make use of Windows 8's tablet interface, called the Modern UI Style. But when using Windows 8 on a traditional desktop or laptop computer, you can instead use the Desktop interface, which has not changed a great deal from Windows 7. 

THE PURPOSE OF THIS BOOK

I wrote this book because Windows 8 is a massive departure from previous versions of Windows. The user interface is very different, and many common tasks are performed differently than in previous versions of Windows. (I have seen seasoned IT professionals get frustrated when attempting to use Windows 8 for the first time.) Hopefully this book will provide a handy and useful guide to Windows 8. It's not intended as an all-encompassing overview of Windows 8, but as an introduction to the operating system. It is my hope that this book will familiarize you with Windows 8 and help you to enjoy using the operating system - or at least keep you from tearing your hair out in frustration every time you need to use Windows 8. 

A NOTE ON TERMINOLOGY

Microsoft refers to the new user interface and style of applications in Windows 8 as the Modern UI Style. There is some confusion on the terminology. Previously, Microsoft referred to the new user interface as the Metro interface, but a German company claimed the term Metro as a trademark and sued Microsoft. Consequently, Microsoft unceremoniously abandoned the term Metro, and now uses Modern UI Style to  refer to Windows 8's new interface, though it is possible Microsoft might change the terminology again.

For the purpose of this book, we will refer to the new interface as the Modern UI Style. 

Additionally, when we use the word Desktop with a capital D, we are referring to the Desktop interface within Windows 8. 

ERRATA

I have done my best to make sure all the information in this book is accurate and timely, and tested every procedure described in the following chapters. However, I am only mortal, and undoubtedly I have made mistakes. If you notice any errors, you can email me at jmcontact @ jonathanmoeller.com to let me know. The advantage of ebooks over paper books is that ebooks are vastly easier to update and revise, and I can quickly introduce a revised and updated edition to correct any mistakes. (Another advantage of an ebook is that you can have it open on your computer screen as you work, rather than having to look down at a paper book on your desk.)

Chapter 1 – Windows 8 Versions

Windows 8 comes in four basic versions - Windows RT, Windows 8, Windows Professional, and Windows 8 Enterprise. In this chapter, we'll explain the differences between the versions of Windows 8. First, we'll describe the system requirements for Windows 8.

SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS

If you want to install Windows 8 on a PC you already own, it must have the following hardware components:

-A processor running at 1 gigahertz or faster.

-1 gigabyte of RAM for a 32-bit version of Windows 8, and 2 gigabytes for the 64-bit version.

-16 gigabytes of free hard drive space for the 32-bit version of Windows 8, or 20 gigabytes of free hard drive space for the 64-bit version of Windows.

-A graphics card capable of running DirectX (Microsoft's graphical technology) version 9 or higher.

-A monitor capable of at least 1366 x 768 resolution. 

You'll notice that these system requirements are almost identical to those for Windows 7. In general, if your computer is capable of running Windows 7, it can handle Windows 8.

Next, we'll look at the differences between the versions of Windows 8.

WINDOWS RT

Windows RT is a lightweight version of Windows designed to run on computers running energy-efficient ARM processors. Traditionally, Windows runs on Intel's or AMD's 32-bit or 64-bit processors. ARM's processors often power tablet devices due to their low power requirements, and to compete in the tablet market, Microsoft needed a version of Windows that could run on ARM processors. Windows RT is that version of Windows. 

You cannot buy a new or upgrade copy of Windows RT. It only comes preinstalled on touchscreen tablet computers, like Microsoft's popular Surface tablet. Despite that, Windows RT is a full version of Windows. It comes with both the Modern UI Style and the Desktop interface, and the full set of traditional utilities. It even comes with a copy of Office 2013 Student/Teacher.

However, the reason Windows RT comes with Office 2013 is that traditional desktop applications will not install on Windows RT. That means any piece of software that worked on a previous version of Windows will not work on Windows RT. The only source of programs for Windows RT is through the Windows Store. If you want to buy a computer running Windows RT, bear this restriction in mind. 

WINDOWS 8

Windows 8 is the successor to Windows 7 Home Premium edition. Like Windows RT, it offers the full Windows 8 experience, with both the Desktop and the Modern UI Style. Unlike Windows RT, Windows 8 allows you to install any traditional Windows application.