Getting Started with Windows 8

With every windows upgrade there is a certain amount of retraining to be done. Moving from XP to Windows 7 was pretty intuitive, although comprehending "libraries" took a bit of study. However moving from any version of Windows to Windows 8 or 8.1 can only be described as befuddling.

As of October 2013, Microsoft ended box sales of Windows 7, and they made and then rescinded a statement saying that they were going to end the sales of PC's preloaded with Windows 7 later this year(2014). So the options for avoiding the "New Windows" are dwindling. There is a school of thought that says its just going to be more difficult to learn something new in the future, and it might be wise to learn the new system now while we are still capable. Windows 7 support ends in 2020, but whether you purchase a Win 7 computer or a Win 8 computer, the component-lifespan of the computer will be coming to an end then anyway, and you'll have to adjust to whatever new changes they throw at us in the future.

The "New Windows" is a combination of a tablet/phone interface combined with a desktop interface. The tablet interface portion has a totally different navigation technique than the desktop. A summary of the new navigation technique can be found here. The new navigation is no more difficult than learning any other tablet, but the shifting between traditional navigation and tablet navigation is a bit jarring. However there are some inexpensive apps such as Start8, Classic Shell and Modern Mix that make the transition to Windows 8 less difficult and feel more familiar.

Being a anti-social computer user, with privacy concerns there are a few tweaks that I'd recommend that you make. I like the idea of a "you've got mail" notification, although the continuous checking can use lots of power, but the implementation where the partial message is displayed on the menu seems like an invasion of your privacy. The photo app can be easily tweaked as well. Turning off live tiles when they invade my privacy would be a huge concern for me.

I also don't like that the default search of my computer, sends my search question off to Bing and that Microsoft gets to track what I'm doing on my own computer. Again an easy enough tweak. The lack of "libraries" in the file manager, and a heavy reliance on skydrive is another concern for me. Again these items can be tweaked into submission easily enough.

The computer club has purchased a few books that can be checked out for a period of 1 week to help you get started in Windows 8.

I also looked scoured the web for Video tutorials and have found the tutorials below to be among the best. 18 Tutorials by Matthew Buxton
YouTube -   12 Part tutorial by 599CD
YouTube -   19 Part tutorial by xaratemplate
Other Videos

A strong recommendation for Top-Windows-Tutorials. All of these videos have been updated for Windows 8.1

I fell in love with Top-Windows-Tutorials when I was moving from Windows 2000 to Windows 7. I was struggling with the way Microsoft relocated many key features, and I found "libraries" to be totally confusing until I watched Mathew Buxton's tutorials. . We have viewed a lot of his online videos in our VRCC classes. . I purchased the Windows 7 Superguide and felt the video set was excellent. I liked it so much that I purchased the Windows 8 Superguide as well. The Windows 8 SuperGuide is availabe for download, or you can purchase them on DVD. Top-Ten-Windows also pubishes an excellent newsletter that always has some interesting information.

Mathew Buxton's tutorials are well paced.  These videos are quick but thorough. We have viewed a lot of his videos in our VRCC classes. He is located in the UK and has a bit of an accent. The following tutorials are available free from his site. These online tutorials are a 65 lessons found in the SuperGuide 8 available by digital download or on a DVD. $20 + shipping and handling. I found the $20 to be a bargain price for the learning materials.

Tutorial 1 - A new Windows 8 PC
Tutorial 2 - The new Start screen
Tutorial 3 - Multitasking with Applications
Tutorial 4 - Searching in Windows 8
Tutorial 5 - Basic PC settings
Tutorial 6 - Sharing is fun
Tutorial 7 - Multiple tiles
Tutorial 8 - The Windows Store
Tutorial 9 - Skydrive
Tutorial 10 -Introduction to the Desktop
Tutorial 11 - Desktop Windows
Tutorial 12 - Desktop tweaks (Classic Shell, Start 8, Modern Mix)
Tutorial 13 - Exploring File Explorer
Tutorial 14 - Advanced File Explorer Techniques
Tutorial 15 - Working with Files and Folders
Tutorial 16 - Working with Multiple Files and Folders
Tutorial 17 - Libraries
Installing Windows 8.1



This presenter gives a very good lecture. He has a nice speaking voice and good tempo. All the Tutorials are quite long, and very very thorough. I find him a bit too slow for my taste, but he might be just your cup of tea.

599CD Offers a CD with Windows 8 tutorials for $5.99 + Shipping and Handling. The presenter has posted a sampling of the 12 of the videos on their CD on youtube.

Windows 8 Level 1 Part 1 of 12 11 minutes long, this is more or less a history lesson

Windows 8 Level 1 Part 2 of 12 16.5 minutes
What's new and should you upgrade. Its a must watch for anyone making a buying decision.

Windows 8 Level 1 Part 3 of 12 15 minutes.
Lock Screen, Log On & Off
Tiles & Active Tiles
Running and Closing Apps
All Apps Screen
Pining Apps to the Start menu
Moving and Resizing Tiles
Lock, Signout and Shutdown

Windows 8 Level 1 Part 4 of 12 10 Minutes
The Desktop
Icons and Shortcuts, Taskbar
Closing, Max, Min, Restart
Moving, Resizing,
Opening WordPad

Windows 8 Level 1 Part 5 of 12 20 minutes
Apps and Programs
Included Apps
Windows Store
App Search
Microsoft log in vs local log in.

Windows 8 Level 1 Part 6 of 12 20 mintutes
useful Apps
Internet Explorer, People App, Mail App, Gmail

Windows 8 Level 1 Part 7 of 12 17 Minutes
More Apps, Calendar, Maps, News,
Sports Weather, Travel and Music

Windows 8 Level 1 Part 8 of 12 10 minutes
Wordpad, Loading a File, File Explorer
Recycle Bin, SkyDrive App, Notepad, Calculator

Windows 8 Level 1 Part 9 of 12 10 minutes
PC Settings, Lock Screen, Start Screen, Password, Adding Users, Notifications, Search Options, Privacy, Windows Update

Windows 8 Level 1 Part 10 of 12 17 Minutes
Configuring Windows
Control Pane, Display Resolution,
Mouse Settings, Windows Defender, Firewall, Windows Update, Desktop Themes

Windows 8 Level 1 Part 11 of 12 17 minutes
Adding the Start Button
Classic Shell, QuickLaunch
Customize Taskbar, Other Recomendations.


Windows 8 Tutorials by xaratemplate - on YouTube

Another  set of windows tutorials presented are a young man who goes by the handle xaratemplate.  His tutorials are brief how-tos offer a few different methods..  These are well worth your time.

xratemplate is a Graphics and Web Design Specialists. As far as I can tell xaratemplate does not sell anything related to these videos. They appear to be more of a comunity service. The website assoicated with these videos is

Windows 8 Tutorials - Start Menu and Searching Applications Lesson 01 4:17 minutes

Windows 8 Tutorials - Opening and Closing Applications Lesson 02 2:53 minutes

Windows 8 Tutorials - Switching Between Applications Lesson 03 6:49 minutes

Windows 8 Tutorials - Metro Interface Naming Groups, Rearrange Groups and Applications Lesson 04 5:27 minutes

Windows 8 Tutorials - Unpin and Pin Start Menu Applications Lesson 05 4:08 minutes

Windows 8 Tutorials - Show and Hide Desktop Applications Icons Lesson 06 2:21 minutes

Windows 8 Tutorials - Uninstall microsoft windows 8 applications  Lesson 07  3:41 minutes

Windows 8 Tutorials - Enable and Disable Start Up Applications Lesson 08  3:19 minutes

Windows 8 Tutorials - Create a Local User Account Lesson 09 7:01 minutes

Windows 8 tutorials - Automatic Maintenance Settings Lesson 10   3:42 minutes

Windows 8 Tutorials - Pin applications to task bar Lesson 11 2:08 minutes

Windows 8 tutorials - Change Windows update settings & check optional updates Lesson 12  6:21 minutes

Windows 8 Tutorials: Analyze and Defragment to Optimize Windows 8 Hard Drives Lesson 13 2:02 minutes

Windows 8 Tutorials: Shutdown Settings - hibernate, sleep, restart and more Lesson 14 2:28 minutes

Windows 8 Tutorials: Windows 8 charms bar shortcut Lesson 15 0:59  minutes

Windows 8 Tutorials: How to search Windows 8 Store Applications Lesson 16  1:47 minutes

Windows 8 Tutorials: Change Tile Size for Windows 8 Metro Applications Lesson 17  1:45 minutes

Windows 8 Tutorials: Disable Automatic Maintenance Lesson 18 3:02 minutes

Windows 8 Tutorials: Add and or Switch Keyboard Language Lesson 19  3:02 minutes.


Other Tutorials

Youtube video by The Hacker007
Re-enable libraries on Windows 8.1

Youtube video by Break Records
Turning off Live tiles

Youtube video by BJTechNews
Disabling Bing from PC Search