Paperback: 124 pages
Publisher: O'Reilly Media, Inc.; 1st edition (October 18, 2012)
Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.3 x 9 inches
Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars See all reviews (94 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #1,217,479 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #61 in Books > Computers & Technology > Operating Systems > Windows > Windows Desktop > Windows 8 #378 in Books > Computers & Technology > Business Technology > Windows Server #507 in Books > Computers & Technology > Graphics & Design > User Experience & Usability
In the first chapter, the book does a good job of both explaining the differences from previous versions of Windows and of not assuming any previous knowledge of Windows. We learn how to start Windows, navigate around, start apps, and shut down. The author takes the time to name each new component, such as the Charms menu, as well as to discuss how to navigate in the way convenient to you, whether you prefer the mouse, the keyboard, or touch.Chapters 2, 3, 5, 6, and 10 go into functionality that casual users will want. The author starts with email and the Internet, proceeds to file sharing, and discusses how to watch and listen to videos and music, viewing and editing photos and videos, and setting up protection against malware and age-inappropriate content. These sections give a nice tour of the Metro-style Apps that come with Windows 8, as well as new control panel functionality.Chapters 4 and 9 go into the specifics of App, desktop application, and how to find, use, and organize both.The one area that I feel should've been discussed but wasn't is how to shop for Windows 8 hardware devices. With brand-new desktop PCs and tablets running a mix of Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro, and Windows 8 RT, millions of consumers will soon need to decide what device to buy, and the decision is more difficult than ever. Even if you're set on a Windows device, you now have to consider these factors: what form-factor you want, where you plan to use it (such as home vs. work), what applications you want to run, whether you want touch functionality on a desktop PC, what screen resolution you need (since today's Windows tablets have a lower resolution than desktop monitors), and so on.
The way we interact with the Windows operating system has changed. The concepts of "touch" and gestures have taken over, but not so much that the keyboard and mouse are no longer useful. Windows 8: Out of the Box is a high-level look at how touch has been integrated into Windows 8. It's not a technical book, it's aimed at all audiences from young to old, from tech-savvy to first-time users. Appealing to a wide audience is evident in the author's writing style: it is relaxed and factual - I found it very easy to read.The Windows 8 "touch" user interface and the focus on "content over chrome" means a lot of the functionality that we're used to seeing in menus or on-screen has been tidied away. Even as an experienced Windows user, I found some great tips in this book and found out how to reach the functionality that eluded me!Weighing in at 120 pages split over 12 chapters, makes Windows 8: Out of the Box an ideal size to keep it close to your Windows 8 laptop, tablet or PC - it's not one of those heavyweight doorstops! Each chapter is fairly short (typically about 10 pages each) and makes use of colour screenshots to provide a better explanation of the topic in hand. There are many "tips" and "cautions" highlighted in each chapter, these are easy to spot and provide some great takeaways.The chapters focus on common "tasks", e.g. "Using Email and the Internet" or "Importing, Viewing and Editing Your Digital Photographs and Videos", etc. This is perfect if you are new to Windows 8 as many of the "how do I do..."'s are covered. I was pleased to see that each chapter includes a "Top Tips from This Chapter" summary - you can see at a glance what you'll be learning over the pages that follow. Similarly, there's good use of chapter cross-referencing.
I have been uncertain about whether to update one my computers to Win 8, but my usual early adopter self got the best of me. Right now, the Microsoft download is completing, and I'm saving to ISO file, to burn to DVD, so I'll have a copy. Took advantage of the MS 39.95 special upgrade/download offer.I just paged through this book, and am very satisfied with what I saw. It is nicely laid out and illustrated. Well worth the price, I think.I'm pretty experienced with computers, ever since programming an IBM 360 mainframe back in the 60s with the old punch cards to process rocket propellant test data, on to the Commodore 64, and everything since, except for Macs. So, I figure I don't need much help on most things, but this book looks like it will definitely be helpful and help me get going on Win 8 more quickly. Now if the update just works without trouble (which updates usually don't in my experience, but eventually, I conquer them!)An update: I am happy with having updated one Vista PC to Win 8, primarily for the great speed increase that resulted. Everything is so much faster. This PC has only a dual CPU and 3 GB of RAM (my Windows 7 has triple core CPU and 8 GB, and I think the Win 8 one is now faster than the Win 7 one).The Win 8 START page is confounding though, particularly on things like trying to shut the PC down -- have to hunt for it. I sure miss the old Start button! In fact, I found a free shell that partially restores the old Start button format, while not interfering with the Win 8 UI -- go to [...] (I was a little hesitant about installing a third party shell, but didn't find any adverse comment about it, so decided to rely on Win 8 security to not let me do something I shouldn't.
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