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Windows 8: Out of the Box 1st Edition

3.9 out of 5 stars 94 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1449326647
ISBN-10: 1449326641
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Mike Halsey is the author of several Windows books including Troubleshooting Windows 7 Inside Out and the Windows 8 Power Users Guide. He is a Microsoft MVP (Most Valuable Professional) awardee and a recognized Windows expert. He regularly makes help, how-to and troubleshooting videos and holds live webcasts on the first Thursday of every month for O'Reilly. Other previous roles have included spending several years as a club-singer and working as a photographer. Mike has an open mailbag and always welcomes questions and comments from readers. He sincerely hopes you have enjoyed this book and that you will consider reviewing it online. He lives in an eco-home in Sheffield (Yorkshire, UK) with his rescue border collie, Jed.


Product Details

  • Paperback: 140 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (October 18, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1449326641
  • ISBN-13: 978-1449326647
  • 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)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,085,095 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Mike Halsey's background in IT comes from years of front-line support for international corporations, large and small businesses, micro-businesses and individuals in their homes, so however you need to work with your computer, smartphone or tablet he's able to see things from your point of view.

With a background as a teacher of adult (basic-skills) English, he prides himself on using language that is as clear and straightforward to the widest range of people as possible, and his books are frequently complimented for the ease with which they can be understood by non-technical people.

Mike is also a technology blogger providing text and video-based support at TheLongClimb.com. Mike is also a Microsoft MVP (Most Valuable Professional).

Mike posts regularly on Twitter (www.Twitter.com/halseymike) and Facebook (www.Facebook.com/halseymike)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
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.
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Format: Paperback
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.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This does not pretend to be anything other than a (very) basic outline of the features of Windows 8.
As such this book does its job & gives you enough understanding to be able to start off using Windoiws 8.
Seeing as Microsoft have given Windows 8 OS for PC's such a tablet look it can be a bit daunting for users like me upgrading from XP. This booklet can help get you going navigating around the basic functions & screens.

Considering the very reasonable cost I give it 3 stars for doing what it says it does.

p.s. for anyone interested I installed "Classic Shell"
This is a simple free programme that gives you back the missing Start Button & customisable Menu similar to previous versions of Windows, while letting you access all the new features of W8. This makes PC users upgrading from XP like me feel much more at home.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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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Windows 8: Out of the Box
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