locked
Is there a user guide? I can't work out how to use Windows 8

    Question

  • Hello,

    I just installed Windows 8 DP on a spare machine, and am totally confused. I would really like to try out the new OS, but can't work out how to use it. Maybe it's just too late at night!

    Is there a user guide anywhere? Something that explains how to do simple things, like close an application, resize a window so it's not full screen, etc?

    I'm running it on a desktop PC, not a tablet, so I'm using keyboard and mouse.

    Thanks for any help you can give.


    FREE custom controls for Lightswitch! A collection of useful controls for Lightswitch developers. Download from the Visual Studio Gallery.

    If you're really bored, you could read about my experiments with .NET and some of Microsoft's newer technologies at http://dotnetwhatnot.pixata.co.uk/

    Thursday, November 3, 2011 12:37 AM

All replies

  • Forgot, meant to add to that list... How do I find out what all the installed programs are, and how to use them? Some of them seem pretty weird!

    FREE custom controls for Lightswitch! A collection of useful controls for Lightswitch developers. Download from the Visual Studio Gallery.

    If you're really bored, you could read about my experiments with .NET and some of Microsoft's newer technologies at http://dotnetwhatnot.pixata.co.uk/

    Thursday, November 3, 2011 12:47 AM
  • To see a list of all programs, when in Metro press a key on your keyboard to start a search then push the Backspace key and it will list all programs.

     

    List of Windows 8 Metro applications in DevPreview:
    http://blog.ondrejsv.com/post/List-of-Windows-8-Metro-applications-in-DevPreview.aspx

     

     

    For info on Windows 8:

    Windows Developer Preview guide
    http://download.microsoft.com/download/1/E/4/1E455D53-C382-4A39-BA73-55413F183333/Windows_Developer_Preview-Windows8_guide.pdf

    Windows 8 Preview:
    http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-8/preview

    Building Windows 8 Blog:
    http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/

    Windows 8 Videos:
    http://www.buildwindows.com/

     

    Thursday, November 3, 2011 3:24 AM
  • Hello,

    Thanks for the reply, sorry I forgot to come back on it.

    I had seen most of those links, but they don't actually tell you how to use Win8. The list of apps tells you the technology used, and in a few cases gives a very short description of what the app does, but it doesn't do this for most apps, and certainly doesn't tell you how to use them.

    The preview guide was a very high-level overview of Win8, with absolutely no useful information on how to use it. It was a typical "Hey, look at our new Windows, see the fab features" presentation, which is great for getting interest, but no use at all for actually using the OS.

    The blog might have had some useful info for people wanting to find out how to use it, but there were so many posts there, and the blogger has obviously gone a very long way past that stage, so finding anything like that was pretty impossible. I read some interesting articles, but they were way beyond the stage I was at.

    The videos link was also very interesting, but the videos (that I saw at least) were aimed at the same audience as the preview guide (ie high-level overview, no nitty gritty details on how to use it on a day-to-day basis), or were aimed at developers wanting to produce apps for Win8.

    I don't mean to sound ungrateful, and I appreciate your reply, but none of the links you posted actually gave a user guide for Win8 - unless I missed it somewhere, in which case, please feel free to correct me. I have unmarked your reply as an answer for this reason.

    Having mucked around with Win8 a bit more, I am still quite in the dark as to how to use it properly, but have come to the impression that for the desktop, the Metro stuff offers absolutely nothing over the traditional Windows paradigm of presenting an application. I can see that for tablets, phones and the like it's a cute way to present an app, but for the desktop it just seems to limit the possibilities of what you can do, and requires more keystrokes/mouse clicks to get anywhere.

    Running non-Metro apps in Win8 was basically the same experience as in Win7, so no great news there.

    Hard to say for sure as I'm testing on an old machine, but Win8 does feel faster than Win7, which is a definite positive, but the user experience was fairly painful, having to cope with the Metro desktop all the time, that I found productivity to be suffering.

    Still, an interesting experience, but unless there are some significant changes to the user experience in the final release, I can't see me (or many other desktop users for that matter) rushing to upgrade.

    Thanks again.


    FREE custom controls for Lightswitch! A collection of useful controls for Lightswitch developers. Download from the Visual Studio Gallery.

    If you're really bored, you could read about my experiments with .NET and some of Microsoft's newer technologies at http://dotnetwhatnot.pixata.co.uk/

    Wednesday, November 9, 2011 5:46 PM
  • In the Windows Developer preview, there is not a way to close the apps. However, they are suspended when not in use.
    In the Metro screen the apps are full screen and there is not a way to currently change it.

    There is not a user guide that I am aware of since this is a pre-beta product. On the start screen you can type in any command or statement and it will bring up the results.


    You can try Help and support within the operating system itself. At the start screen, type in help.
    Then click on the Help and Support box that comes up. From there you can type in your keyword.

    You can also view some Windows Developer Preview shortcuts that might help in getting around the operating system.

    The Start button takes you to Start Screen and lets you toggle between open apps
    Alt-Tab cycles through apps in sequence, as usual
    Arrow keys allow you to move through the Start screen
    Windows + C brings up the Charm menu, as does hovering over the lower-left hand corner of the screen
    Windows + F brings up the Search screen, though simply typing (when on the Start screen) is more convenient
    Windows + Z in a full screen app brings up the contextual menus
    Windows + D takes you to the desktop
    Windows + L locks the PC, invoking the lock screen
    Windows + P pulls up multi-monitor settings
    Windows + I brings up the Settings charm
    Windows + E invokes Windows Explorer
    Windows + R brings up the Run prompt
    Windows + Y makes all your open windows (and the Metro UI) transparent, so you can see the desktop beneath
    Windows + X shows Windows Mobility Center, which appears to serve much the same role as the Settings charm
    but on the desktop instead
    The Scroll wheel pans across Start screen, slowly
    Right-click brings up contextual menus in a full screen app
    Left-click on the Start screen brings up options to unpin, resize and uninstall apps
    Ctrl-Alt-Delete summons a screen with options to shut down, switch users, log off or quickly open the Task Manager

    Let us know your specific questions and we will be glad to assist.


    Marilyn
    • Proposed as answer by WindowsVista567 Thursday, November 17, 2011 2:51 AM
    Wednesday, November 16, 2011 1:51 AM
    Moderator
  • Hello,

    Thanks for the reply. As I said in my previous post, my impression is that Win8 is probably a good experience on a tablet or 'phone, but the metro thing just doesn't work on a desktop, especially one with a large monitor, or multiple monitors. When we were working on a single-threaded OS, with a screen resolution of 800x640, and when the idea of multiple monitors was a fantasy, then full-screen apps made sense, but with today's powerful machines and multi-threading, it just doesn't cut it, especially as pretty much all the metro apps that showcased with the preview were pretty simple, and the sorts of things you wouldn't want a large window for anyway.

    I sure hope they make some radical changes before release, otherwise I can see this being a dead duck for MS.


    FREE custom controls for Lightswitch! A collection of useful controls for Lightswitch developers. Download from the Visual Studio Gallery.

    If you're really bored, you could read about my experiments with .NET and some of Microsoft's newer technologies at http://dotnetwhatnot.pixata.co.uk/

    Wednesday, November 16, 2011 2:03 PM