Starting to Navigate Windows 8

Nov 08 2012

Here we are with another new Operating System, Windows 8. So before we start installing apps and configuring the other goodies that it contains, we are first of all going to explore new (and some old) ways of maneuvering and navigating through this new version of Windows.
Just be mindful, that this version of Windows operating system is Microsoft’s first universal OS that will be utilized on the desktop/laptop and the multitude of mobile/touch-screen devices. What this means is that as a desktop user, one also has to get accustomed to ways of navigating about as if on a touch-screen of a smartphone and/or tablet. While it may not be that close, and since you are still operating via a keyboard and a mouse, the experience is a new one, and you may just like to learn about it.
Start… Go!
Windows 8 start menu
At login you get the Start Window, which replaces the Start Button and the Start Menu of previous versions of Windows. This is where you will see your installed apps and Tiled-Apps, and one of the tiled apps is aptly labelled Desktop. Yes, we are guilty of quickly trying to find ourselves back in the safe and sound desktop view. Besides clicking on the Desktop tile, the other ways of getting to the Desktop is by a. taking the cursor to the bottom left corner and clicking on the pop-up (executing this is a little tricky with multiple monitors, as you have to position the cursor absolutely in the bottom left corner), or b. Clicking the Windows Key on the Keyboard. Once in the Desktop View, you will start searching for the Start Menu. But that’s exactly where wewere, remember? The Start menu has basically grown up to be a screen all on its own and left the comfort of the Desktop screen. And we just have to get comfortable with that.
Some charms lurk in the corners:

windows 8 charms
Moving the cursor to the Top Right/Bottom Corner brings up a list of items known as Charms. You get tasks labelled Search, Share, Start, Devices and Settings. These right-hand charms show up both in Start screen and Desktop.

The Settings option is of most interest: it allows for access to or configuration of the tiled application currently open. When no applications are running Settings allows configuring:

  1. Control Panel
  2. Network, Sound Volume, Brightness, Notification, Power and Keyboard
  3. Personalization
  4. Change PC Settings

The Top Left Corner and Edge bring up applications running, including the desktop as one. So the Desktop view is in essence regarded as one of the tiled apps. The applications/programs running within the Desktop View are not shown individually here. They (Desktop applications) are shown within Desktop view on the Task Bar. As before toggling within Desktop applications can be via the Alt-Tab keyboard combination.
While in the Start Window, pressing the “Esc” key takes you to the Desktop view if it is already running.Left Corner and Edge bring up applications running, including the desktop as one. So the Desktop view is in essence regarded as one of the tiled apps.
The Windows Key toggles the Start and Desktop Views, as compared to previous versions, the Start Menu used to come up.
Ctrl-Alt-Del still performs just as in previous versions of Windows, to lock, switch user, log/sign off, change password, and Task Manager.
Closing Applications.
Within the Desktop screen, applications are closed the same way as before. Which is not possible for Tiled applications, since they do not include the a. regular frames containing, if not all of minimize, maximize, and close buttons, as well as a b. menu bar. They close simply by a. taking the mouse /cursor to the top of the application, which be also the top of the monitor, since all applications open in full screen mode, and waiting for the cursor to change to a hand, b. pressing on the left mouse, and c. dragging the application down to the bottom edge (all the while keeping the left mouse pressed).
To Shutdown/Restart your computer, you don’t need to click on Start.
Move mouse to either Right-hand corner, Click on Settings, Click on Power icon in the bottom, and select action to Shutdown, or Sleep and/or Restart.

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