If you’re interested in the technology industry, or if better yet you work in the technology industry, then chances are that you will have had your eye on the latest iteration of Windows and that you’re probably looking at getting involved or have already done so.
When you first load up though you’re likely to be a little surprised at how different it all is to start with. The main difference is that instead of Windows as you know and love (with y’know… windows…) you’ll be introduced to a ‘Start Page’ with live tiles which flick up all kinds of data but which don’t quite fit into the way we’re used to doing things.
Worry not, getting the hang of this new environment isn’t as difficult as it might at first seem, and though it may be daunting you’ll quickly get the grasp of it once you start to learn its language. Here I’ll help you to do that by giving you a guide to just the very basics.
What is the Start Page?
The best way to think about the Start Page is as an extended Start Menu – and this will make the loss of the latter a little less jarring. Basically Microsoft have provided a supposedly simpler way of accessing files and programs that will work with touch screens and done away with the old menu that worked so well with the arrow keys or a mouse. For the most part they’re pretty similar and it’s your job to just organize the programs you want there and to place any live tiles you want there too and set them up. Sticking a program to your Start Page is just like sticking it to the task bar – just right click and select ‘Pin to Start Page’ – either from the desktop mode, or by right clicking on the Start Page and then selecting ‘All Apps’ (and yes, this is terribly organized if you’re using a PC – so make sure you do use that pin option so that you can avoid this bit).
The first time I got to the Start Page I didn’t have any idea how to get out of it and I panicked. Then when I got to the Desktop mode, there was no Start Menu and I panicked again. Don’t worry though, once you know the shortcuts Windows 8 becomes a little more intuitive to use.
First of all, to switch between Desktop and Start, just press the Windows button on your keyboard, or alternatively select ‘Desktop’ from the Start page. If you need to access some of the new features while you are working in Desktop mode meanwhile – such as the Start Menu – then just move the mouse to the bottom right of the screen and then up to bring up your ‘context menu’ (which also works in the Metro Style apps).
Another useful trick is switching between running apps. To do this, take your mouse to the top left of the screen and you’ll get a tiny window with whatever else is running (not counting legacy apps running on the desktop). Bring the mouse down and you’ll get a full list which you cn then choose from.
The article is written by Sara Brown, who works with Berkeley Sourcing Group, a plastic injection molding company. She also authors a tech blog through which she shares all info on latest technology and gadgets.