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A beginner’s guide to Windows 8

This blog post is loosely aligned with our upcoming course “Welcome to Windows 8,” scheduled on November 10 and December 15. Since Windows 8 has launched, we have met many people, who, for various reasons, are yet to upgrade. For them, we decided to publish our perspective on what Windows 8 is like.

To begin with, you might ask what is the difference between Windows 8 and Windows 7? At a glance, the new Windows 8 might seem alien, but after you give it some time, you would recognize a familiar, although enhanced, environment. Considerable changes include: performance increase, better security, new Windows Explorer, file history, cloud synchronization across devices, and a full-screen view of applications. You might have heard that Windows 8 does not have a Start Menu, but it is back in Windows 8.1 (free upgrade).

There are a couple of things you should do before updating. Although Microsoft says any computer that runs on Windows 7 will handle Windows 8, it is still a good idea to check the minimum system requirements and your current software compatibility before you make a switch. After you have confirmed that you computer is powerful enough and all of your software is supported, you can order Windows 8 through official Microsoft Store or multiple retailers.

If you have just installed Windows 8, you might have some questions. Where do you start? What do you do? How do you use new features to improve your workflow and efficiency? This is what our course is all about. In just three hours, we will explain how to navigate through windows, manipulate views, download programs, install protection, set-up users, etc. To get you started, here are some useful shortcuts:

- To switch to Start Screen from the desktop view, press Windows button. To switch back, press Windows + D.  

- To search for anything, go to Start Screen and type what you are looking for.

- To cycle through open applications, use Windows + Tab.

- To close a currently open application, press Windows + Alt.

In the end, we think that Windows 8 is a worthy successor. It manages your files across devices, keeps them secure, gives you more options to organize data, and features all the latest software. Frankly, we can’t recommend it enough. 



Gordon, W.  (2012). The Best New Features in Windows 8. Lifehacker. Retrieved from

Pinola, M.  (2012). How to Prepare Your Computer for Windows 8. Lifehacker. Retrieved from