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Windows 8: Out of the Box

Windows 8 will be released on October 26th, and in my opinion, it is going to be the hardest version of Windows for most people to get used to.

Windows 8 was designed to be used with touch screen monitor technology.  Windows 7 will also work with touch screens, but Windows 8 takes it much further.

Because touch screen technology is still a bit on the pricey side, most of you are going to need to know how to navigate around Windows 8 with a mouse.  Touchscreen monitors start around $275 and go on up from there.  It won’t be long, however, until they are cheap and affordable.

Modern UI Vs. Desktop

Windows 8 has two different screens that you can operate from.  The first is the Modern UI (User Interface).  This screen is the same screen that you would see on the new Windows 8 phones or Surface tablet.  This is the screen that is really handy if you have a touch screen monitor.  However, if you are using a mouse instead, and used to the look of the traditional Windows desktop, you have the option of operating from that screen instead.  The Windows 8 Desktop screen is almost exactly like Windows 7, except it does not have a Start button to take you to any of the programs or features of Windows.

We are all used to the Start button.  It has been around since Windows 95.  If you want to go to your Program list, Control Panel, or even reboot or shut down the computer, this is where you go.  With Windows 8, all of this is in the Modern UI screen.

So how do you get to the Modern UI screen?  This is not at all intuitive.  You have to know to move your mouse to the upper right corner of the screen to the sweet spot that triggers the pop-out menu for options.  Most people are not going to intuitively know to do this.

Once you unbox your new Windows 8 PC, fire it up, and go through the setup wizard, you are taken to the new Windows 8 Modern UI Screen.  The Modern UI is optimized for touch screen monitors. In the lower left corner of the Modern UI screen, there is an app called Desktop.  Clicking or tapping on this will take you to your desktop.

Below are photos of the Modern UI screen and the Windows 8 Desktop.

Windows 8 Modern UI

Windows 8 Desktop

I have been working with Windows 8 now since July, and once I got used to the navigation, and tweaked it to suit my tastes, I have found that I actually like it.  You can easily operate from the Windows 8 Desktop, once it is tweaked to have all the programs and options you need, right at your fingertips.

In the next few days I will be posting a series of articles on how to configure your Windows 8 Desktop to make it easy and simple to use.

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