Windows 8 Release Preview Part FiveRegister Today!
"Windows 8 Release Preview Part Five" continues the general review of Windows 8 features as we draw close to the final release of Windows 8 in October. The discussion focuses on the installation of the Release Preview on another aging laptop, and the syncronizing feature of using Microsoft ID for log on purposes. An overview of some of the new features of Windows Explorer are also discussed.by CaptainPC Sep 12, '12
In this fifth installment of the Windows 8 Release Preview series, we want to delve into more of the new features in Windows 8. I took the liberty to install Windows 8 RP on a five year old Dell Inspiron laptop PC that still runs the factory installed Windows Vista. I simply created a second partition on the single hard drive on which to install Windows 8 for testing. The installation and start up of Windows 8 RP was flawless. The specs of the Dell laptop are similar to that of the Toshiba upon which I first installed Windows 8 RP. The only real difference in the hardware is a slightly faster Core 2 Duo CPU. Again, Windows 8 RP booted quickly, and the contrast between its boot time and that of Windows Vista is even more pronounced than on the Windows 7 Toshiba. Vista has always been a dog in its boot time, and Windows 8 boots on the Dell in a quarter of the time it takes for Vista to boot. I installed Windows 8 RP to test the Microsoft ID setup, which is supposed to synchronize all successive Windows 8 installations so you have the same settings on all the PCs. After entering my Microsoft ID email address and password on the Dell, it completed the boot sequence, and behold, my Start screen and Windows Desktop reflected the settings from the original Toshiba installation, including my own customized Desktop wallpaper. Since the look and feel of the new installation was already set to my preference, all I needed to do was install a few software programs and load some of my personal files. The key to your settings being synchronized is to use the same login Microsoft ID credentials as the ones you set up on your first Windows 8 upgrade or installation. Choosing to use a local log in, or setting up a new Microsoft ID will result in your having to freshly select your settings and preferences. The actual time invested in the installation was only about thirty minutes since my settings were already in place. I like the way Microsoft has streamlined the process by automatically syncing user settings.
Microsoft has provided a makeover to Windows Explorer in Windows 8. Windows Explorer now sports a ribbon menu like its Microsoft Office cousin. The new ribbon menu has some great features. First of all, with onemouse click, you can hide the ribbon menu, or make it appear again as noted in Fig. 1.
Fig. 1 Toggle the caret to minimize and maximize the ribbon menu.
This really improves viewable space on a laptop screen, particularly if you have one of the new 13.3 inch Ultrabooks. The File Menu contains only a few options, and is not really a ribbon menu. The actual ribbon menu is composed of three main or core sections. They are the Home, Share, and View ribbons as shown in Fig. 2, Fig. 3, and Fig. 4.
As you select Library or Pictures, Music, or Video files, contextual menus will also appear, allowing you to select various options related specifically to one of those file types. We will not go into this in detail. They are pretty self explanatory when you see them in Windows Explorer.
The core menus of Home, Share, and View contain many options, including some that could only be added to right click context menus in Windows 7 and earlier Windows versions. The "Move to" and "Copy to" of the Home menu are examples of this.
Notice the "Quick Access Toolbar", located on the extreme left of the My Documents title bar. The Quick Access Toolbar shows "Properties" "New folder", and "Customize Quick Access Toolbar" by default. Clicking the "Customize Quick AccessToolbar" will give the options of "Undo", "Redo", "Delete", and "Rename", as well as an option to relocate the Quick Access Toolbar below the ribbon menu. You can also tailor the Quick Access Toolbar with other commands you routinely use by right clicking on any ribbon menu items and selecting "Add to Quick Access Toolbar". If you love using keyboard shortcut commands, just press your "ALT" key to see the Home, Share, and View shortcuts, which are H, S, and V respectively. Press one of those three keys to see the shortcut keys displayed on the ribbon items on that specific ribbon. Make your selection to execute the command. With repetitive use, you will remember the commands you most use in no time at all.
Whether you are upgrading to Windows 8 in October, or are planning to buy a new Windows 8 PC for the holidays, I hope this will help get you off to a good start with Windows 8. I am not planning to buy a new computer this year, but I will buy an upgrade or two. After all, the price is right at $39.99.
What are your thoughts on Windows 8? Your comments are most welcome.Last edit by Joe V on Sep 13, '12
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CaptainPC has been hanging around computers since 1982, when audio cassette tapes were common storage media in home computing. He is the Administrator of his church network, and holds Comptia's A Plus Certification for PC Hardware Maintenance & Repair, as well as Comptia's Network Plus certification in general networking. The Captain spends his time maintaining computers and cleaning malware infections.
APA Style Citation
CaptainPC. (Sep 12, '12). Windows 8 Release Preview Part Five. Retrieved Friday, May 24, 2013, from http://allnurses-breakroom.com/showthread.php?t=784221
- Sep 13, '12 by Joe VI love the ribbon menu on Windows Explorer! It's great to see a uniform UI on all these products.