aNewDomain.net — Getting familiar with Windows 8 will help you navigate to where you need to go quickly. Here’s a walk through of all the screens so you can customize and start using it right away.
- Lock Screen
When you start your Windows 8 computer, the first thing you see is the Lock Screen. You can customize this screen to add things like the time and number of unopened emails. Swipe your finger in a downward motion or press any key on the keyboard to open the Lock Screen.
- Start Screen
The Start Screen is the “home” screen of Windows 8. It is filled with colorful tiles that represent apps. Live Tiles show constantly updated information and pictures for apps like email, news, weather and stocks.
- The Start Screen Extended
Swiping to the right reveals more Tiles that are a part of the Start screen. You can also use the arrow keys on the keyboard and the wheel on the mouse to navigate the pages of the Start screen.
In addition to the new Tiled Start Screen, Windows also has an interface that is much like Windows 7. It is simply called the Desktop.
- A Windows 8 App
When you touch or click on an App tile, it will always open in full screen.
- Showing the App Controls
To show the controls for any App you can move your finger down from the top of the screen or up from the bottom. Tap the screen to make them disappear. If you are using a keyboard and mouse, you can also right-click on the screen of the App to make them appear and left-click to make them disappear.
- Showing All Apps
At the Start screen, drag your finger up from the bottom of the screen or if you are using a keyboard and mouse, right-click on any blank area of the screen and choose All Apps from the right side of the bottom bar that appears.
- The Charms Menu
To bring up the Charms menu swipe your finger from the right side of the screen to the center or if you are using a keyboard and mouse, place you cursor in the upper right hand corner of the screen. The Charms Menu will appear on the right. Charms choices include: Search, Share, Start, Devices, and Settings. On the left you will see the date and time.
- PC Settings
Windows 8 offers many different ways to personalize the operating system. You can choose colors and pictures as well as add users and change privacy settings.
- Universal Search
The Windows 8 Search function is very powerful. Access it from the Charms menu and you can search for Apps, files, settings, people and more.
- Internet Explorer 10 as an App
Windows 8 has two different versions of Internet Explorer. When you open it as an app, it opens full screen and looks very different from what you may be used to in Windows .
- Internet Explorer 10 in the Desktop Mode
When you open in Desktop mode, IE looks very much like previous versions of the browser.
- Windows Store
You can visit the Windows store to download a wide variety of apps.
Image credits: Sandy Berger
Based in Pinehurst, North Carolina, Sandy Berger is a veteran tech journalist and senior editor at aNewDomain.net covering tech tips and tricks, apps and gadgets in general. Email her at Sandy@aNewDomain.net. Follow her on Twitter @sandyberger, +SandyBerger on Google+, and www.facebook.com/sandyberger on Facebook.