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Getting to know the new windows 8 OS.

I have found the best way to understand Windows 8 is to think of it as 2 systems in 1. Firstly the new windows 8 interface with all its apps and secondly the familiar windows 7 style desktop now known as the ‘Legacy Desktop’.
Unlike all other windows operating systems, windows 8 does not take you to the desktop when it boots up. It presents you with the ‘Start Screen’, the centre piece to the User Interface.
What you’ll find here is access to all the apps and programs installed on the computer or tablet. If the program or app is not available on the start screen as a tile, Just start typing the name of the program and a search will start and windows 8 will bring it up. If you’re not on the start screen pressing the windows key and Q together brings up the search option to find what you’re looking for.
Windows 8 runs on a full screen basis, so unless you’re on the legacy desktop switching between programs and closing them is going to seem a little difficult. The four corners of the screen give additional functionality to help in these areas; they’re called ‘Hot Spots’.
The top left hot spot gives you quick access to the open programs. Sliding the cursor tight into the corner will show the last opened app and clicking on the image will bring that app to the front.
If there are more than 1 apps open sliding the cursor down from the corner will reveal the multitasking menu (all the open apps) and from this list you can select the app you want to use.
The bottom left hot spot, gives quick access to the ‘Start Screen’ or if already on the start screen quick access to the previously used app.

If you move the mouse straight up from this corner, again you’ll get the multi-tasking menu the same as the top left hot spot above.
The right side corners have the same function top and bottom. Move the cursor to either corner on the right gives you the ‘Charm Bar’ or by pressing the windows key and the C button together. The Charm bar is app specific, so different options will be available within different apps.

There are 5 main options on the Charm bar; we’ll go through the basics here.
1) Search:

Here the Store app is open, so the search will display all relevant apps from the search in the Store app.
2) Share:

The share option allows you to share data in apps with other Windows 8 users that also have the app installed. The above picture shows we are sharing details on the weather app in the Washington area, the person receiving the message needs to be running Windows 8 with the weather app installed.
3) Windows:

This option is the same as the bottom left hot spot. It'll switch between the current app and the start screen.
4) Devices:

This picture shows the photo app with the devices option of the charm bar.
5) Settings:

This option gives you access to the settings of the open app as well as access to the computer or tablets settings. If you haven’t found it yet, this is also where you find the shutdown button. Click on settings, then power and shut down.
That’s the 4 hot spots out of the way. Now what if you want to view 2 apps side by side.

Start the first app, and then move the cursor to the top of the screen until it changes into a hand. Now hold down the left mouse button and move the cursor to the left of the screen. You’ll notice a bar will appear, at this point you can let go of the mouse button. Now the app will only take up 1/3 of the screen, if you now open another app, it will take up the remainder of the screen.
So you can open apps, even have 2 apps running side by side, but what about closing them, well that’s easy too. Move the cursor to the top of the screen again until it turns to the hand. Now hold down the left mouse button again, this time drag the cursor down to the bottom of the screen and finally let go. The app will vanish down off the screen and be closed.
Finally, Windows 8 comes with 2 versions of internet explorer 10. The legacy desktop version which supports all web based languages including Flash and a Windows 8 app version that does NOT support Flash. If you happen to be on the Windows 8 app version and you’re viewing a web page that has Flash on it, don’t panic simply click on the spanner at the bottom of the page and select View on desktop and it will reopen the web page on the legacy desktop version.