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Windows 8 is the current release of the Windows operating system, produced by Microsoft for use on personal computers, including home and business desktops, laptops, tablets, and home theater PCs. Windows 8 introduces significant changes to the operating system, with a focus on improving the experience on mobile devices such as tablets. Windows 8 also introduces a user interface featuring a new Start screen with a grid of tiles to represent applications, a new app platform with an emphasis on touch screen input, the new Windows Store to obtain and purchase applications for the system and the ability to synch programs and settings between multiple devices.
Windows 8 features a new lock screen, which includes a date and time display, along with the ability to display notifications from apps. Two login methods optimized for touch screens are available: a four-digit PIN or a picture password.
4 digit PIN
PIN login is a convenient way for Windows 8 tablet users to login to Windows. It doesn’t require you to press Enter key or click Submit button to login to Windows 8; it logs you in as soon as you tap the last digit of your PIN code.
Allows the use of certain gestures performed on a selected picture to login. These gestures will take into account the shape, the start and end points, as well as directionality of the gestures.
User accounts can be linked to a Microsoft account to provide additional functionality, such as the synchronization of user data, and integration with other Microsoft services such as Xbox Live (for gaming and multimedia) and SkyDrive online storage. All of your personal devices can now be easily connected easily with one another using a single account.
After logging in to Windows 8 you will see the new Start Screen. The start screen contains tiles that are used to launch various applications (apps) such as Email, Internet Explorer, Photos, etc…
To open a program click on the app you wish to use using a mouse or tap on the app if you are using a touch screen device.
The Charm bar is Windows 8’s universal toolbar and contains 5 buttons: Search, Share, Start, Devices and Settings.
Search: The search button functions similarly to the search feature in previous versions of Windows. Using search you can search for any file, program and/or control panel setting
Share: The share button is used to share information from certain apps with people via mail or social networks such as Facebook and Twitter.
Start: The start button is used to bring up the start menu.
Devices: The devices button allows you to change the settings of the peripheral devices you may have connected to your Windows 8 device such as a television or digital camera.
Settings: The settings button is used to change the settings of your Windows 8 device such as audio, brightness, Wi-Fi, power, notifications and language.
To access the Charm bar:
Touch screen device – Swipe from the right edge of the device
Using a mouse – Move your pointer to the upper or lower right corner of your screen
The Windows Store is a digital store used in Windows 8. Similar to Apples app store, the store is used to provide listings for desktop applications certified to run on Windows 8, but is also the primary distribution platform for "Windows Store apps". Free and paid applications can be distributed through the Windows Store. The Windows Store was first made available concurrently with the release of the Windows 8 Consumer Preview. Comparably to other similar platforms (such as the Apple App Store and Google Play), Windows Store apps must be certified for compatibility and their content.
File Explorer (Formerly Windows Explorer), incorporates a ribbon toolbar, designed to showcase the most commonly used commands. File Explorer features a redesigned preview pane that takes advantage of widescreen layouts. File Explorer provides a built-in function for mounting ISO, IMG, and VHD files as virtual drives. Progress windows for file operations have been redesigned; offering the ability to show multiple operations at once, a graph for tracking transfer speeds, and the ability to pause and resume a file transfer.
Internet Explorer 10
Internet Explorer 10 (IE10) is a version of the Internet Explorer web browser and is the default browser in Windows 8. IE10 expands on previous versions internet explorer with hardware acceleration, cascading style sheets version 3 support as well as HTML 5 support. IE10 also introduces new features such as Adobe Flash integration and “Flip Ahead” which allows you to quickly advance to the next page in a website with a swipe gesture.
Whenever you want to search for something, use the Search charm. From there, you can:
- Search the app you're in
- Search another app
- Search your entire PC
The Start button and menu from previous versions of Windows have been replaced with the Start screen. From the Start screen you can open apps, websites, contacts, and folders.
To return to start:
- Touch screen device – Swipe the right edge of your screen, and then tap the Start charm
- Using a mouse – Move the pointer into the lower left corner then click Start
Access the Desktop
On the Start screen tap/click the Desktop tile. (The desktop tile will be represented as the current background image you have on your desktop)
Access the Start Screen
- Touch screen device – Swipe up from the lower left corner of the device and tap on the App tile
- Using a mouse – Move your pointer to the lower left corner of your screen and click on the App tile
Open the Control Panel
Tap the Control Panel tile from your start screen
Help and Support
- When you're using the desktop, you can find help about how to use Windows. Open the Search charm, enter Help, and then tap or click Help and Support.
- When you're on the Start screen, you can find help about rearranging and adding things to Start. Open the Settings charm, and then tap or click Help.
- When you're in an app, you can find out how to use and customize that app. Open the Settings charm, and then tap or click Help. (Some apps might put help in other locations, so check the company's website if you can't find help in the Settings charm.)
Turn Off/Shut Down
- Close any desktop apps you have open—this will prompt you to save your work
- Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap Settings
(If you're using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down, and then click Settings.)
- Tap or click Power, and then tap or click Shut down
- Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap Settings
(If you're using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down, and then click Settings )
- Tap/Click on the wireless network icon
- Tap/Click on your wireless network and tap/click the Connect button
- Enter your WiFi password and tap/click the Next button
- Choose Yes or No when asked to turn on sharing/connect to devices
- Your device will connect to your wireless network