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Using Windows 8 - Learning What's New If You've Used Windows Before

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If you’ve used a computer - and Windows - before, it’s likely that you'll find Windows 8 a tad confusing. This chapter will help you learn what's changed and where to find where Microsoft put everything.
This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

In this chapter you find out how to do your current tasks on a new Windows 8 computer.

  • →Logging in with the New Lock Screen
  • →Launching Apps from the New Start Screen
  • →Using New and Traditional Apps
  • →Exploring Improved System Tools
  • →Configuring Options from the Charms Bar
  • →Relearning Essential Operations

If you’ve used a computer before, it’s likely that you find Windows 8 a tad confusing. That’s natural; the Windows 8 interface is unlike anything you’ve seen before.

You see, Windows 8 represents a new approach to computing. Microsoft’s goal was to introduce a single operating system that provides a consistent experience across different types of devices—computers, tablets, and smartphones. To that end, Windows 8 adopts many features formerly found on tablets and smartphones, such as full-screen applications and touchscreen operation, and adapts them to the computer screen.

These changes make it somewhat challenging for you to use your new Windows 8 computer to do the same tasks you did with an older version of Windows. There’s a lot that’s different, which means you need to relearn how to use Windows—and rediscover where Microsoft put everything.

Logging in with the New Lock Screen

On previous versions of Windows, you were used to logging into Windows from a fairly innocuous log-in screen, using your own unique username and password. (Maybe; you could have opted to log in without a password.) This sort of user-specific log-in remains in Windows 8, but is now done from what is called the Lock screen.

The Windows 8 Lock screen resembles the lock screen you find on an iPhone or iPad. The Lock screen itself consists of a background image and some key pieces of “live” information, such as current weather or how many unread email messages are waiting for you. It’s also where you log into your Windows user account with your own unique password.

How you configure your user account is something else that’s different in Windows 8. Unlike previous versions of Windows, you can opt to log into your computer using your Microsoft Account. This option lets you access information from other Microsoft sites (such as Hotmail and Bing) on your new computer. It also lets you keep your configuration settings when you move to another Windows 8 computer; just log in with the same Microsoft Account and the new computer will look the same as your previous one.

Log Into Windows 8

Logging into your Windows 8 PC is a fairly straight-ahead affair. Just select your user account and enter your password.

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