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New in Windows 8 — for XP and Windows 7 Users

Part of the Windows 8 For Seniors For Dummies Cheat Sheet

If you've used Windows 7 or XP, you'll be up to speed with Windows 8 in no time. Most of the functions you are accustomed to are still available. Keep an eye out for the following changes from earlier versions of Windows:

  • Faster start and stop: Windows 8 starts and sleeps faster than earlier versions, making it more responsive.

  • Start screen: The Start menu has been replaced by a screen full of tiles used to launch apps (programs). Just start typing to search for a specific app.

  • App tiles: The boxes on the Start screen are called tiles and can be square or rectangular. Tiles can show current information, such as the weather or your latest e-mail. Select a tile to open that app.

  • Microsoft Store: The Store provides a central clearinghouse for you to find and install new apps, many for free. Apps in the Store meet requirements set by Microsoft for function and security.

  • File Picker: The old File dialog boxes have been replaced by a full-screen file picker that displays more files at once. Select the Files heading to browse locations.

  • Desktop and taskbar: These mainstays of earlier versions of Windows are no longer front and center – you may find that you never use them. However, they’re still there if you need them.

  • File Explorer: Windows Explorer is now the File Explorer and features a ribbon with the tools you need.

  • Touchscreen, mouse, and keyboard: Windows 8 works equally well with different methods of input.

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Windows 8 For Seniors For Dummies Cheat Sheet


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