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Windows 8 has a new user interface that uses a start screen containing tiles to provide access to files, applications, news, and more. Tiles animate with information relevant to the content or app they represent – see tweets, photos, news, weather, financial updates, and more.  You can customize which tiles display on the start screen and pin frequently used applications to the start screen.

 For more information from Microsoft on Windows 8, visit:  Microsoft Web Site

Tips for Getting Around on Windows 8

Getting around Windows 8

For more information from Microsoft on how to use a mouse and keyboard with Windows 8:  Mouse and Keyboard

Information from Microsoft on how to swipe, tap, and interact with touchscreens:   Using Touchscreens

Keyboard shortcuts for Power users:  Short list of keyboard shortcuts     Full list of keyboard shortcuts

What are Tiles?

Tiles are box-shaped elements that appear on the start screen.  Tiles can be represent an application, a contact, a website,  or a folder.  Rather than displaying static information, some tiles will animate with content from the application, website, or content.  Tiles can be used to display photos, tweets, recently added files, news, stock updates, etc.  

You can re-arrange and resize tiles, create new tiles, and remove existing tiles.

What are Charms?

Charms let you perform common functions such as searching for programs/ files or changing your settings.  The charms bar is available from any screen on Windows 8, but what you can do with the charms will change depending on whether you are on the start screen or another screen.


There are five basic charms:

CharmDescription
SearchSearch for files, folder, applications, settings, or control panels
ShareShare files and information with other people or applications.  You can email files or photos, post to Facebook, etc.
StartGet back to the Start Screen of tiles
DevicesUse other devices connected to your PC
Settingspersonalize Windows 8, set up network connections,  change settings for applications, power down your machine, change the volume, etc.

Touchscreens

If your device has a touchscreen, you can tap and swipe on the screen to use tiles and charms and to navigate Windows 8.  If your device does not have a touch screen, you can use the mouse, trackpad, or even keyboard shortcuts.

Information from Microsoft on how to swipe, tap, and interact with touchscreens:   Using Touchscreens

Tips for Using Windows 8

Microsoft has published "Get to Know Windows" information for Windows 8:  Windows 8 Tips.

What is the Windows Store?

The Windows Store is a marketplace for applications that work on Windows 8 and Windows RT.  You need a Microsoft account to access the Windows Store.

What is Windows RT?

Windows RT shares the same tile-based user interface as Windows 8, but it is designed for tablets and hybrids (a tablet that turns into a laptop or a device that breaks into a tablet and keyboard base).   Unlike Windows 8, Windows RT can only run applications obtained through the Windows Store. 

 

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