Windows 8 introduces new elements, and revises others of past OSs like Vista or 7 and upgrading will be cheaper than ever before!
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You’re going to pick up Windows 8 at some point, whether you like it or not, so here’s what you’ll need to learn
For an operating system pitched by Microsoft as simple to use, and designed for tablets because of that, there sure is a lot of confusion over what’s new. With that in mind, here’s what you’ll have to pick up in Windows 8.
First, the Start screen. Replacing the Start menu of every other consumer-friendly Windows OS, the Start screen is what you’ll see when booting into the Metro half of Windows 8. Icons representing programs are gone; instead, tiles representing apps are arranged across the screen. Clicking on a tile quickly launches the user into the software, much like Windows Phone and the Xbox 360 dashboard. Tiles can be rearranged by dragging and dropping, and resized into a square.
Functions? On The Right
Tiles also display live information, from the weather to the People app. This is effectively Microsoft’s version of widgets, so you can get a snippet of the latest information without having to open the app (a flaw Apple has yet to address in iOS).
Charms, Or Your Functions
The Charms bar is probably the biggest change on the Metro side of Internet Explorer, which is an app-sensitive bar on the right-hand side of the OS that shows functions for the app you’re currently in. The biggest noticeable change with Charms is Internet Explorer 10, which removes excess UI elements and shows them as Charms. It’ll take getting used to, but swiping from the right isn’t complicated.
Running multiple apps alongside each other in Metro is as easy as putting them next to each other. The difference is that the screen isn’t split in half like in Windows 7, instead only giving a small amount of screen space to the second app you snap. This is great for services like Twitter or your e-mails where information continually appears, but doesn’t really work that well for static browser sessions or games. For example, if I opened a FAQ and had Diablo 3 running in the Snap View then it wouldn’t be ideal. Switch them around, though, and you could be onto a winner.
If you haven’t heard it yet, upgrading to Windows 8 could cost you as little as 15 bucks