Windows 8: Don’t Fear the Start Screen

Kim Mays

The biggest change to the Windows OS in a decade, Windows 8 has made many Windows PC users leery of adopting it. Its format is not as familiar as previous versions and the new look and feel may seem daunting. But truly, you have nothing to fear if you take the time to learn about the new features and functions before jumping in feet first.

From the series of popular books, “Windows 8 for Dummies” contains all you need to know about using the new operating system. Its chapters cover topics that include:

  • The Mysterious New Start Screen
  • Basic Desktop Window Mechanics
  • Working with Programs, Apps and Files
  • Safe Computing
  • Ten Things You’ll Hate About Windows 8 (and How to Fix Them)

In our IT Downloads area, you can download a free excerpt from this book, Chapter 12: Customizing Windows 8 with the Control Panel. It provides detailed explanations about:

  • The two Windows control panels
  • How to alter the appearance of Windows 8
  • Video modes
  • Installation and removal of programs and applications
  • Mouse adjustment
  • Auto-setup of date and time

It’s no wonder people have been cautious about adoption of this new OS. Once they hear about the confusing Start screen, they are already unsure if they can figure it all out. But it’s not actually that difficult to understand. According to the book:


…Windows 8 contains two switch-packed control panels. The Start screen’s control panel, the PC Settings screen, which is full of oversized buttons, helps mostly with simple chores, such as changing your account photo or turning on the spell checker’s autocorrection option. The desktop’s mammoth set of switches, called simply Control Panel, carries the more powerful settings found in earlier Windows versions. Although separate, the two panels often join forces. Sometimes a click on the desktop’s Control Panel whisks you back to the Start screen’s PC Settings screen for you to flip the final switch.

This book provides easy-to-use, numbered steps and includes screenshots so you’ll know exactly what is being described. The language used is very straightforward, but not so simple that you feel like the author is talking down to you. Everyone from the most novice user to Windows users who are just new to this OS version can benefit from this informative guide.



Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
Aug 29, 2013 12:56 AM Joanne Thomson Joanne Thomson  says:
I totally agree! Windows 8 is the biggest change to the Windows OS and everyone is curious to try it. However, it might be difficult to get used to Windows 8 given that it’s so different from the previous versions. Microsoft is encouraging enterprises to seriously consider upgrading to Windows 8. While Windows 8 is packaged automatically onto new PCs and tablets, in the enterprise environment it is expected to be a more difficult sell. Most enterprises have either recently upgraded from XP to Windows 7 or are in the process of doing so. http://www.convertertechnology.com/blog/13-01-29/How_Will_Windows_8_Change_Your_Business_Perspectives.aspx?Blogs=BlogItem Reply

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