Windows 8: a Beginner’s Guide for the Bewildered – Part 1 of 3

By | October 31, 2012

Windows 8 is going to change the overall Windows experience that most of you, over the years, have become familiar with. To accomplish this, Microsoft has chosen to bring the computing experience up to date in its Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro editions by designing one operating system that supports both the touchscreen features normally attributed to a tablet computer while maintaining a desktop-type environment.

This dual environment is designed for use on the traditional Intel and AMD processor systems and will not be seen on RT devices where the operating system is pre-installed directly from the factory. Unfortunately, you will also not see it made available for a direct download and install. However, while RT will not support a traditional installation of Windows software — such as a full version of Microsoft Office — it will support the installation of other applications. For clarification, there is a desktop for RT, but you cannot run legacy programs on RT. For a complete explanation for which operating system — Windows 8, Pro, or RT — might be right for you, check out the Microsoft website.

This is part one of a three-part series describing some of the changes Microsoft has made to Windows, along with a description of the changes and workarounds to overcoming some of the perceived difficulties.

The first issue one might face when using Windows 8 is where to find the Start button. It isn’t there and some reviewers would have us believe that the removal of the Start button was a plot by Microsoft to make life for us Windows users more difficult. However, like many of you have learned or will subsequently learn, not having a Start button is merely an annoyance. In fact, if and when you install Windows 8 on one of your systems, or when you buy a new PC with Windows 8 or Windows 8 Pro pre-installed, there are many different programs available that will replace the familiar Start button. The program I have chosen to use is called Classic Shell 3.6.1. Classic Shell restores the Start button and comes with plenty of toys to fine tune the menu to your liking.

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