Windows 8 For Office Use

Dear Computer Lady,

I would appreciate it if you could discuss in the newsletter/on-site the new Windows 8 in relation to ‘office’ type use. It seems aimed at Pad users.

I sit at a desk top, entering numbers, listing sale items, etc., searching for comparisons on multiple sites. Doing this with a touch screen, and/or using Win8 seems cumbersome on the face.

How will business type users be affected? Especially if ‘standard’ Windows is eventually phased out?
Or am I misunderstanding how this will work?

Thanks for your time, Mary.

Dear Mary,

While it is true that Windows 8 seems to have been designed with a tablet or touch screen in mind, it is still a powerful operating system that works well for business applications.

There are a couple of things you can do to make the touch screen interface a bit easier to use with a keyboard and mouse. One is to use keyboard shortcuts, and the other is to install a program that will give you back the old start menu.

Lets start with some of the keyboard shortcuts that will make Windows 8 easier to use on a desktop.

If you want to switch from the new start screen directly to your desktop, just press the windows logo key. Press it again to go from your desktop back to the start screen.

If you want to quickly open a program, go to the start screen (use the windows logo key) and start typing the name of your program. The start screen will show you a list of items that match what you are typing, when the program you want appears, click on it to open it.

Another option is to install a program that creates a start menu just like you used to have in earlier versions of Windows. There are quite a few programs being created to do this for you, and while I have not yet used any of them, PCWorld did a nice review on a free program called, Start Menu 8, which you can find at:



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Elizabeth Boston is a Web designer, Social Media Consultant and managing editor of, “Ask The Computer Lady”.
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    • ron007
    • April 22, 2013

    Think of Win8 as Win7.5 or as a Service Pack for Win7.
    The main difference between 7 and 8 is the Start Screen. And the start screen is just another shell pasted on top of the old desktop.

    As the Computer Lady pointed out, there are many tools you can buy that will banish the start screen.

    Although I loath it, I have learned to tolerate it too.

    I think, that in the long term plan, MS expects/hopes that the Win 8 Start Screen “gooey” will make using desktops easier for people brought into computing using smartphones and tablets. Win 8 provides a single user inter face for Win 8 phone, tablets and desktop.

    Too bad, that ignores the billions of people who have invested many years learning the desktop UI. It is a plan for the future that minimizes the value of existing users.

    Other than the Start Screen, Win 8 includes a lot of big and small enhancements that do make it an improvement over Win7. Even on my 6 year old laptop, Win8 is perceptibly faster booting and restarting after being put to sleep.

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