Microsoft Windows 8 is here. This is a major overhaul of the user interface from Microsoft to adapt with the touch-screen enabled device form factor while being downward compatible with legacy Windows system. Whether you like it or not, it will be here to stay.

Below are few tips if you decide to take a dive to upgrade to Redmond latest.


Through the end of January, consumers currently running PCs with Windows XP, Windows Vista or Windows 7 are qualified to download an upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for $39.99.  Go to to download the upgrade.

And eligible Windows 7 PCs purchased between June 2, 2012, and Jan. 31, 2013, in more than 140 markets can download an upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for an estimated retail price of US$14.99 with the Windows Upgrade Offer, available at

You download the first 5MB module and start the upgrade process, I suggest to babysit through. There are few few questions that need your prompt attention. If you don’t answer it stops and revert to the old OS. Clicking the install shortcut to relaunch. (It did happen to me). Windows 8 comes with Microsoft Defender. If you have anti-virus software installed such MS Security Essentials, it will ask you to remove.

Windows 8 UI is designed mainly for touch screen..If you still rely on your mouse and keyboard, here are few tips to get you started.

  1. The Window key on your keyboard is your best friend. I refer as w below.
  2. Avoid to go back to desktop as much as you can.. (w+d) will take you to the old world PC, in case you want to get thing done quickly while you get familiarized with the new interface.
  3. (w+c) or drag the cursor on top right corner to see the Charm bar for Search, Settings (W+I) are context related.
  4. (Alt+f4) or drag the cursor on top (morphed to hand icon) then drag all the way down to bottom to close a window app.
  5. To see all opened or active windows, drag the cursor to top left corner and down slightly. From there you can switch or close each by clicking your right mouse click.
  6. (w+Print Screen) will take a snapshot of your screen and store in your photo folder.
  7. (w+.) to snap your current window to left,right, full. You can drag the vertical separation bar to 1/3,2/3 or full screen.
  8. (Alt+Tab) will still show currently opened window – can be use to reopen along with your previous app after you snapped in #7.
  9. You can use Windows ID with Gmail..; Windows 8 native apps such Mail, Calendar, Contacts, SkyDrive work with your Gmail too. In native W8 Mail app, add Gmail account and Gmail Connect.
  10. Some previous apps such Skype offer new W8, so install the W8 version. Look up in the Windows
  11. Right mouse click on each live tile will show option at the bottom (remove, pin, uninstall, resize, etc..)
  12. If you want to create a Live Tile representing a Web page (e.g. Gmail). Use Chrome browser, open new tab.. Select at the bottom, Apps instead of Most Visited. Click on the Chrome Web Store.. Find and install the Web App.. Upon completion, right mouse click on the app icon, create shortcut check desktop.

Please feel free to share your experience, tips, questions, etc. in the below comment section.

One Comment

  1. iosif hamlatzis
    Posted November 6, 2012 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    I read:
    “Through the end of January, consumers currently running PCs with Windows XP, Windows Vista or Windows 7 are qualified to download an upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for $39.99.”

    Does that mean I can upgrade from XP to Win8? Because as far as I know there is no way to upgrade XP to Win 7 unless you first upgrade to Vista.

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