Introducing Windows 8 Episode 1

 
Start Screen Episode 1 Text and Notes

Welcome to the Windows 8 tips and resources screencast. Windows 8 offers both a revolutionary and evolutionary change in the way users interact with their computers be they traditional desktop machines, tablets or phones. Windows 8 is offered in several flavors. The Windows RT version is designed for lower cost tablets and runs only apps designed for Windows RT. Windows Pro is for more expensive tablets and desktops and will run RT and most Windows 7 programs. This Screen Cast was made using the Windows 8 Enterprise Evaluation release and focuses on Pro version features.

Microsoft has made bold changes in the look and feel of Windows 8 Pro requiring customers learn a radical new way of using software and hardware. Many Windows desktop features have been retained but are accessible only after flipping through the new touch friendly Start Screen.

This screencast focuses on using a traditional mouse or trackball and keyboard. When your computer is turned on, the first screen that you will see is called the Lock Screen. The Lock Screen shows the time, date and the status of your Internet connection.  Left click your mouse to remove the Lock Screen.

The next screen prompts you to enter your password.  The screen displays an ease of access at the bottom left hand corner of the screen and a power option icon in the lower right corner. After entering your password, you will be greeted by the Windows 8 Start Screen.

In most installations, users will see a rectangular block in the lower left corner labeled Desktop. Your Desktop tile may be in a different location but is part of the Start Screen.  The rectangular blocks and squares are referred to as Tiles.  Start Screen Tiles act much like desktop icons. Clicking Tiles launch traditional desktop programs such as Microsoft word or apps designed to only run in the new Start Screen environment. When you first see the Start Screen click on the Desktop tile to go to the more familiar desktop.  Easy!

New users will notice that the familiar desktop Start Button is missing.  Don’t panic.  You still have access to all of your programs which are now launched using the new Windows 8 Start Screen.

To display the Start Screen, move your mouse to the lower left corner of your screen and left click.  When in the far left corner, you will notice a square icon labeled Start appear.  One of the most common tendencies for new users is to gradually move the mouse toward the center of this icon before clicking.  As you move the mouse over the icon you will notice that it disappears.  Once the Start icon is displayed left click to show the Start screen. Again, as soon as the Start icon is displayed, left click to go to the Start Screen. To return to the Desktop click the Desktop tile.

In previous versions of Windows, the Start Button is used to shut down or restart your computer. Access to these actions has been moved to the right side of the screen.  As I move the mouse cursor to the very top right hand corner of the screen five icons appear in a vertical column.  These icons are referred to as charms.

The charms disappear if I move the mouse to the upper right hand corner of the screen and hold it there.  This is very much like the disappearing act we saw with the Start icon.  The trick is to move the mouse to the upper right hand corner and as soon as the charms appear move the mouse down.  Up to the right and then down. As you move your mouse down you will notice the charms are now displayed against a dark background.  Move your mouse down the charms bar. As you mouse over Charms they are highlighted.  Move to the gearbox icon labeled Settings and left click to see setting options.

The power icon is located at the bottom.  Move your mouse over the icon to highlight and left click to pop up a power options menu.  To shut down or power off your computer, move your mouse to that option and left click.  Let’s try this once more.  I return to the traditional desktop by simply clicking away from the settings menu displayed on the right.  I move the mouse to the upper right hand corner and slide down to display the charms bar. I continue to move the mouse down to the settings icon, left click to display the settings options, move my mouse to the power icon and click to display shut down options.

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