Thursday, November 08, 2012

Windows 8

Most people already know that Windows 8 has been released, and those that installed it on they're systems are experiencing Microsoft's new "Modern UI".  Personally I like the new OS, it modernizes the Windows user interface which really has not changed since 1995 with the introduction of Windows 95.

The Windows Modern UI incorporates some new user interface metaphors that were designed to allow the OS to be controlled by a touch screen.  Although, the OS still  supports being controlled with a traditional keyboard and mouse gestures, but may take sometime before they become totally natural (or comfortable).

Another new feature of the Windows Modern UI that you will notice right away is the use of "Live Tiles".  These are basically large application icons that can be updated with real-time information by the associated application.

Windows 8 Versions
There are a lot of things that I think Microsoft really did well when they released this OS.  First there are not six different versions of the OS (like Windows 7), now there is only two.  The Windows 8 version for home users and the Windows 8 Professional version for business users.
Note: there are technically two other versions, Windows 8 Enterprise (which is intended for large organizations).  There is also Windows 8 RT which only available pre-installed on tablets and laptop from the manufacture.
Over the next few weeks I plan on covering some basic tips and tricks that will help you to fully utilize the new features of the operating system.

Tip: Using Windows 8 Charms
One of the first things I believe you need to know about Windows 8 is how to use the "Charms" sidebar interface (which includes the Search, Share, Start, Devices and Setting menus).  This is a set of five icons that will pop-up on the right side of the screen from the Start screen or from within any application.

To bring up the Charms sidebar, hover your mouse over the upper or lower right-hand corner of the screen, or press the Windows + C keys on your keyboard, or on a  touchscreens by swiping your finger down from the right edge of the screen toward the center.

Video: The Live Tile Experiment
Below is a video called the "The Live Tile Experiment" by Microsoft.  One of my favorite features of Windows Modern UI are the "Live Tiles".

In the video (which takes place in Germany) they created a real life "live tile" and put it on the street.  When the tile is clicked the wall falls down and something wonderful happens.

No comments: