Are You Getting a Windows 8 Computer Soon? Do This FIRST

Education & Training with Tech Training for You!

Windows 8 is here and it is a big interface change! The next computer that you buy will probably have it installed (that is unless you are going to or staying with Mac). It is essential that you get to know Windows 8 a little first if you want your user experience to be a good one! Invest a little time learning the new interface before you turn on your new computer and you won't be COMPLETELY LOST when you do!

Here's the new start screen as we can see from the windows website:

Yes windows 8 is designed to work both as a tablet (touch) interface (shown above) and as a desktop interface. What you see above is the windows start screen and the square and rectangular tiles that represent the different apps that you can launch. This new windows interface (sometimes called the 'metro' interface) is radically different from previous windows versions... however if you've used a smartphone (who hasn't) it really isn't all that foreign! We will just call it a 'modern' interface for windows.

Now I personally don't have windows 8 yet (I will update my computer very soon, I hope!) so I'm sharing my observations from an outside perspective at the moment!

From what I have seen and read, I do LIKE the new interface. Also, there is a more traditional desktop view that many people will fall back to (and apps that aren't updated to the new windows interface will fall back to this traditional desktop view). If you are working on windows 8 on a desktop computer for the first time, prepare to be confused, just a little, UNTIL you learn a handful of new (and ESSENTIAL) tips to navigate in a new world!

The corners of the screen are important. Move your mouse to the top left and you can switch between your opened apps. Bottom left corner will let you jump back to the start screen whenever you are in a running app. Another way to toggle between the new start screen and the traditional desktop view is by tapping the Windows key (a great little shortcut to learn).

In Windows 8, you if head over to the top right corner and from there move the mouse downward you will reveal the 'charms bar.' (Windows Key + C is also shortcut to this bar). This is where you can search, share, or work with devices and settings. If you click on search and look in the apps category, this is where you will see ALL the apps installed on your computer.

In earlier versions, we had a start button that would show us everything (you will notice we no longer have a 'start button'). However, one very neat trick that would be hidden unless somebody tells you is... just start typing while on the start screen to start a search for one of your apps. Type "word" for instance to find Microsoft Word or WordPad. From there you can right click it and add (or pin) it to your main start screen for easier future clicking.

Windows 8 is really very cool in my opinion. My concern is that Microsoft is not doing enough to teach new users how to use it and most of the tools would otherwise seem hidden. This can really put off new users, especially non-techy ones. If you doubt it, watch a few minutes of this video for a new user frustrated with windows 8.

Lifehacker website has a great notes page on "How not to Get Lost in Windows 8". I highly recommend that you go there to check it out. Additionally, they created the short getting started video below:

Microsoft has created a how-to page full of topics and answers to questions that new users will have. My disappointment with Redmond is they make us read lots of text when they should have made nice instruction videos for all these things! Instead we have to go searching YouTube for help in starting off (bad decision by Microsoft team on getting a smooth transition!) I might just have to record some of my own training videos to help people out. Stay tuned, we'll see!

Bottom line is... for you to be happy in Windows 8 is make sure you do a little homework FIRST and your experience will be a much better one!!

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Re-Blogged 6 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Ki Gray 12/09/2012 04:18 AM
  2. Hannah Williams 12/09/2012 06:25 AM
  3. Wallace S. Gibson, CPM 12/09/2012 06:57 PM
  4. Gabe Sanders 12/09/2012 08:15 PM
  5. LINDA SABO 12/10/2012 03:35 AM
  6. Debbie Reynolds, C21 Platinum Properties 12/15/2012 12:07 PM
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Nakia Brooks
BKG - Brokerage Atlanta - Braselton, GA

Thanks for the insight, I look forward to seeing the new Windows 8 - I think this is going to be like going from Windows 3.1 to Windows 98!!!

Going to be a huge learning curve for the non-techno folks!!!

Dec 09, 2012 10:26 AM #22
Shar Sitter
Rooms With Style - Minneapolis, MN
Home Staging and Redesign Minneapolis/ St. Paul, M

I have this bookmarked as I am due for a new computer but I am not sure about Windows 8 quite yet. 

Dec 09, 2012 12:17 PM #23
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

A friend of mine is a techie and loves his new Windows 8.  He was demonstrating it to me, including the Windows button you describe!

Dec 09, 2012 06:30 PM #24
Wallace S. Gibson, CPM
Gibson Management Group, Ltd. - Charlottesville, VA

I suspect there will be one in my future that will make my life difficult for a while and then it will be like ridinig a bike - Can I still ride a bike?  Better RElearn how!  Thanks, Craig.

Dec 09, 2012 06:56 PM #25
Frank Laisch
Orlando, FL
"The Insurance Guy"

The windows 8 looks pretty cool. We will be updating and phasing in windows 8 in 2013. upgrading the whole office is an expensive undertaking

Dec 09, 2012 08:29 PM #26
Anna Banana Kruchten CRS CRB, Phoenix Broker
HomeSmart Real Estate BR030809000 - Phoenix, AZ

Craig how interesting that I am seeing your post today. Perfect timing.  I'm going to be buying a new laptop     in the next week or so and I've been debating whehter to trot on down to the apple store and consider a mac or go for the usual along with windows 8.  It's looking pretty exciting to me.

Dec 10, 2012 05:42 AM #27
Ritu Desai
Samson Properties - Ashburn, VA
Virginia Realtor-Fairfax/Loudoun/PW-703-625-4949

Craig I got Windows8 and absolutely love it! It is fun and easy to navigate (came from some learning curve) but over all very impressed with all the changes that Microsoft brought  with windows8

Dec 11, 2012 10:00 PM #28
John Mosier
Realty ONE Group Mountain Desert - Prescott, AZ
Prescott's Patriot Agent 928 533-8142

Thanks, Craig, for your post. I will take it as a warning for problems I knew how to watch. I have never been a fan of Microsoft. It seems that the changes they make are to further their agenda rather than making it easier for users.

Changes for the sake of change do not make a better product.

I have an Android phone and am about to buy an Android tablet.  I will NOT be moving to Windows 8 anytime soon.

I learned years ago not to try to pioneer on too many fronts. You guys work out the bugs before I go for it.

Dec 13, 2012 02:23 PM #29
Debbie Reynolds, C21 Platinum Properties
Platinum Properties- (931)771-9070 - Clarksville, TN
The Dedicated Clarksville TN Realtor-(931)320-6730

Craig, Thankfully I had a few minutes with my son teaching me some of the shortcuts. I will watch the video though to learn more.

Dec 14, 2012 07:19 PM #30
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes


My rule of thumb with microsoft realeases is to wait for the Service Pack 1 in about six months so that the bugs get worked out.  I am staying with 7 for now.

Dec 15, 2012 12:19 PM #32
Florida Tolbert Team Keller Williams Advantage
Keller Williams Advantage III Realty in Lake Nona - Orlando, FL
Keller Williams Land Luxury Division Specialist

I cannot even figure out how to add my printers yet and I have had it since Black Friday.  I will watch yoru video tomorrow and see what happens.

Dec 15, 2012 12:34 PM #33
Short Sales, Foreclosure & Bank Owned Real Estate

Craig I'm so thankful that you blog this subject I'll put it in my bookmarks,  so many good information and

Thanks for the tips!!

Dec 15, 2012 01:08 PM #34
Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional
Charles Rutenberg Realty - Clearwater, FL
Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor

Wishing you and your entire family an absolutely wonderful Christmas Holiday! Blessings to you and yours!

Dec 24, 2012 04:57 AM #35
Balboa Real Estate San Diego, CA - San Diego, CA


Thanks for the info on WIndows 8. I just purchased a new laptop w/Windows 7 & that's been pretty easy to learn. I was going to go MAC but PC's are so darned cheap I couldn't resist. So much of what I do is on the cloud, that I just couldn't be convinced the expense was justified. Like an iPad----do I really need one to be more productive?
Btw hope Staten Island is recoveringfrom Sandy----we are all praying for NYC! 

Dec 25, 2012 08:00 AM #36
Connie Harvey
Pilkerton Realtors - Brentwood, TN
Realtor - Nashville TN Real Estate

Craig, My computer is just 3 months old. Is this something I can/should add? Just stopped by to wish you a Merry Christmas, even if I'm a bit late!

Dec 26, 2012 03:16 AM #37
Craig Daniels
Tech Training for You! - Staten Island, NY
Technology Instructor/Project Consultant

thanks EVERYONE for your comments on this post - sorry I lost track of replying to you individually as I normally like to do

Connie - very glad you came by for a visit, always glad to see you - 3 months old is probably Windows 7 and in my opinion, you won't need to do anything at all. Windows 8 on a new computer is good but not worth the time, money or possible complications for most people to do the upgrade step on existing PC.

I've just spend my first two days with my new Windows 8 laptop. And though I like the concept of the new windows start screen, I'm spending most of my time in the traditional windows 7 style desktop mode!! Perhaps as more of the new UI apps become available, it will become more compelling to upgrade... 


Dec 26, 2012 03:27 AM #38
Don Hintz
2D-enterprises / HAUS Design, LLC - Anderson, IN


Late to reply to your post, but I've been using 8 since the first part of November. It is different, but the more I use it, the more I like it.  At first I was thinking this is geared more towards tablet/touch screen, but I just kept working and exploring and I'm liking it.

I actually work on both platforms, windows and Mac, and wouldn't say one is better than the other mostly different, which is ok with me. Likes and dislikes about both, but personal preference is the way I learned shortcuts in certain programs that I use on both.

Definately have to be ready to spend some time "adapting" though.

Dec 30, 2012 08:00 PM #39
Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408 - Daytona Beach, FL
Buy Daytona condos for heavenly good prices

No, I do not think I will be doing it. I have both a PC laptop with Windows 7 and a MAc and, hopefully, will switch to Mac. Many years was very loyal to Microsoft, but nothing really changed, problem after problem, and solving them became ridiculously difficult.

Jan 01, 2013 02:59 PM #40
Kristin D. Smith
Keller Williams Realty Mid-Willamette - Albany, OR
Kristin D Smith

I'm going to ask you the question I've been asking lately, :):  Have you found a work around for the now gone Google Sync?  I cannot figure out how to get my google calendar (which syncs to my phone) to sync with the new Outlook.  That's the only really frustrating thing that I have with Windows 8.

Feb 13, 2013 04:34 AM #41
Craig Daniels
Tech Training for You! - Staten Island, NY
Technology Instructor/Project Consultant

Kristin - google apps sync for outlook requires the paid version of google apps for business - as far as I know anyway. Many (like me) work entirely web based mail, calendar, contacts and have broken the tie with outlook. You could consider that as one option. If you want to keep outlook in sync, the cost would be $5/mo. HTH

Feb 13, 2013 04:44 AM #42
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