With Windows 8 having become available around the world in the last 24-36 hours there will quickly be people either upgrading their current PC’s to the new OS or purchasing a new computer with Windows 8 installed on it. Some of those upgraders will be high level geeks and others will be everyday computer users that want to update to the latest offering from Microsoft.
Whatever method you use to become a Windows 8 user the biggest recommendation I can give you is to have patience with yourself, the OS and give Windows 8 a chance.
There is no doubt that Windows 8 is a huge shift from what we are all used to seeing over the years in the Windows operating system.
In fact, I think this is the biggest shift in the user interface of Windows since Windows 95 came out in August 1995. Since then the interface has remained relatively unchanged in its basic functionality and familiarity.
in Windows 8 Microsoft has opted to merge not only the traditional Windows desktop which we all know very well over the years of Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7 but to also introduce a touch first interface that will work on tablets and other type of touch based devices such as touch screen all in one PC’s, etc.
And yes, it also works on a non-touch system with your mouse and keyboard.
You may have heard that the Start Menu is now gone and it has been replaced with the Start Screen. Think of the Start Screen as a full screen Start Menu that is fully customizable by you to display tiled shortcuts to programs and apps on your machine.
A bonus to those tiles is that are called Live Tiles because depending on the app they represent information will be displayed and updated on a regular basis. In some cases you may only have to glance at the Start Screen Live Tile and not ever have to open the app up to get the latest update or information from it.
Along with this new interface are new methods of navigating your OS with a keyboard and mouse. When you add touch to that equation you can combine all three to navigate Windows 8.
Remember I said earlier that this is a huge shift from what we know as Windows? Well that brings me back to the headline of this post – Patience, Patience, Patience – and that is exactly what it will take to get used to and comfortable with Windows 8.
Some will tell you that it is wrong that you need to learn a new way of navigating and using Windows; others will tell you that change is good and a necessary part of progress.
Whatever camp you come from if you are willing to be patient with yourself as you learn the ins and outs of using Windows 8 and its new interface I believe you will gain an appreciation for how well Windows 8 is designed and how it makes significant improvements in performance, security and functionality.
For me I am the type of person who just dives in and starts exploring to learn hands on and for some reading and doing works better. Whichever is your preference listed below are a few resources to help you get familiar with Windows 8 and eventually make the decision to upgrade to the new OS.
Ultimately, you need to make the decision that it will or will not work for you but I ask you to give it a chance so that it is an informed decision and not just based on what I or someone else writes on the web about it.
Having made that last statement, I do want you to read about one reporters move to Windows 8 and how it was for him in the beginning and how he experiences the OS now. It is well worth the read and reinforces my recommendation of Patience, Patience, Patience as you learn Windows 8.
Windows 8 Learning Resources
- Windows 8 Release Preview Walkthrough – shows navigation with mouse and keyboard (WindowsObserver YouTube Channel)
- WinSuperSite by Paul Thurrott (Tons of feature introductions for Windows 8)
- Meet Windows 8 (Microsoft)
- Get to Know Windows 8/Windows RT (Microsoft)
- Complete guide to using Windows 8 (roundup) (cNet)
Let me know in the comments below if you have any questions on these resources or about Windows 8 itself.