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Windows 8 Secrets [Paperback]

by Paul Thurrott, Rafael Rivera
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (88 customer reviews)

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Book Description

September 4, 2012 1118204131 978-1118204139 4
Tips, tricks, treats, and secrets revealed on Windows 8

Microsoft is introducing a major new release of its Windows operating system, Windows 8, and what better way for you to learn all the ins and outs than from two internationally recognized Windows experts and Microsoft insiders, authors Paul Thurrott and Rafael Rivera? They cut through the hype to get at useful information you'll not find anywhere else, including what role this new OS plays in a mobile and tablet world.

Regardless of your level of knowledge, you'll discover little-known facts about how things work, what's new and different, and how you can modify Windows 8 to meet what you need.

Windows 8 Secrets is your insider's guide to:

  • Choosing Windows 8 Versions, PCs and Devices, and Hardware
  • Installing and Upgrading to Windows
  • The New User Experience
  • The Windows Desktop
  • Personalizing Windows
  • Windows Store: Finding, Acquiring, and Managing Your Apps
  • Browsing the Web with Internet Explore
  • Windows 8's Productivity Apps
  • Windows 8's Photo and Entertainment Apps
  • Xbox Games with Windows 8
  • Windows 8 Storage, Backup, and Recovery
  • Accounts and Security
  • Networking and Connectivity
  • Windows 8 for Your Business
  • Windows Key Keyboard Shortcuts

Windows 8 Secrets is the ultimate insider's guide to Microsoft's most exciting Windows version in years.


Frequently Bought Together

Windows 8 Secrets + Windows 8 Bible + Windows 8 Inside Out
Price for all three: $80.51

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Q & A with the authors of Windows 8 Secrets

Should consumers adopt Windows 8 or Windows RT?

Windows RT offers both advantages and disadvantages compared to Windows 8, and which you choose will depend on your needs. The biggest issue with Windows RT, of course, is the lack of desktop application compatibility: Though it comes with most Windows 8 desktop utilities and a version of Microsoft Office, Windows RT is not compatible with any third party or Microsoft desktop Windows applications that are already included. That said, Windows RT should offer much better battery life and amazingly thin and light form factors when compared to similar PCs and devices designed around a traditional PC microprocessor.

What's best way to upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 8? Upgrade or clean install? Is an upgrade safe?

Generally speaking, you will actually see better results with an upgrade with this version of Windows, which is different than our experience with previous versions. To be safe, backup everything first, perform the upgrade, and if it doesn't go well, you can always do a clean install afterwards.

One thing to watch during an upgrade, however, is Internet Explorer: If you have configured a different browser as your default browser in Windows 7 and then upgrade to Windows 8, you will actually lose the ability to run the Metro-style version of Internet Explorer 10. You can fix this by configuring IE as your default browser after the fact.

Does Windows 8 really run faster and better than Windows 7 on the same hardware?

Yes. But in real world usage, you won't notice much of a difference in usage. That said, Windows 8 boots, resumes from sleep, and performs other power management functions much, much faster than does Windows 7. You can also use Push Button Reset to refresh or reset a Windows 8 PC in just minutes.

Will all of my Windows 7 apps and drivers work with Windows 8?

For the most part, yes. Microsoft claims that if it works with Windows 7, it should work with Windows 8. And in our experience, that has definitely been the case. Even the now-ancient game "Halo: Combat Evolved," from 2003 installs and runs just fine. That said, you may need to uninstall some applications if you're upgrading from Windows 7 to Windows 8, and then reinstall them after the fact. And of course there will always be some exceptions.

What are the most important keyboard combinations we should memorize?

If you remember just one keyboard shortcut, it should be WINKEY + C, which enables the Charms and access to several key system functions, including Search, Share, Start, Devices, and Settings. Some other useful keyboard shortcuts include WINKEY + D (to navigate directly to the desktop), WINKEY + I (for Settings), and WINKEY + L for lock. And let's not forget our favorite keyboard combination: WINKEY + X, which displays a power user menu of sorts containing lots of useful shortcuts.

From the Back Cover

In their introduction, the authors of this book say that "with Windows 8, suddenly, everything is different." And they are right—with a completely new interface presenting users with a completely new experience, Windows 8 and its device-based cousin Windows RT are arguably the biggest change in Windows ever. But bestselling authors Paul Thurrott and Rafael Rivera have you covered with Windows 8 Secrets, a completely new, written-from-scratch guide to the ins and outs of this new Windows experience. Covering topics both large and small, ranging from how the new immersive experiences and familiar Windows desktop interface coexist to the subtle differences in interacting with Windows 8 via touch, keyboard, or mouse, this book digs in to reveal helpful and advanced insight in all major Windows areas: application management, data backup and security, networking, and much more.

The Insider's Guide to:

  • Choosing the right Windows 8 or RT product version to fit your needs

  • Dealing with the completely new Start experience

  • Understanding how the familiar desktop and your legacy applications interact with the new immersive experiences

  • Exploring the differences between the two versions of Internet Explorer 10 that ship with Windows 8

  • Digging into the array of new productivity, media, and other apps included with Windows 8

  • Become a power user by mastering the storage, backup and recovery, accounts and security, networking, and business features in Windows 8

  • Insider Tips Expert advice to help you optimize performance

  • Valuable Insights Eye-opening descriptions of poorly documented or undocumented features and procedures

  • Unbeatable Advice Real-world workarounds and little-known tips and techniques

The Secrets series reveals:

  • Authoritative information in highlighted areas

  • Exceptional advice in the margin notes

  • Unique insight from years of author experience

  • Rarely revealed tips and techniques

  • Invaluable shortcuts and workarounds


Product Details

  • Paperback: 552 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 4 edition (September 4, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1118204131
  • ISBN-13: 978-1118204139
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 7.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (88 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #300,428 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
58 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Windows 8 - Easy with this book; painful without it October 26, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I highly recommend "Windows 8 Secrets." I would have been very, very angry with Windows 8 if not for this book. Thanks to the authors and publisher for making my transition to this new operating system painless. Here's an idea: read the first four chapters of this book and then head down to your local computer store for hands-on experience using Windows 8.

Windows 8 is the biggest single step-change in operating systems I have ever seen. It is, quite simply, a whole new operating system. This operating system is so completely different from previous releases of Windows that Microsoft should have given it a name other than "Windows." A great many functions of Windows 8 are not at all obvious or intuitive; therefore, one is forced to learn many "secrets." But do not worry: you can learn the basics of Windows 8 very quickly (in just one or two hours). However, because so much is hidden, most folks will need help: you will either need instruction from someone who already knows how to use Windows 8 or you will need a book.

"Windows 8 Secrets" was the only book I needed: with just two hours of reading, I was able to use Windows 8 with little hesitation or effort. Windows 8 can be extremely frustrating if you do not know the "secrets" (there is NO CLUE what to do - - - because all of the menus are hidden); but you can learn the "secrets" very, very quickly with this book. After a day or so, your Windows experience will become "automated" (like driving a car): you won't even think about it.

If you do not like to read, there are some pretty good Windows instruction videos on a popular video website. Such video training is often better than the book, because you can see the system response along with a running narrative.
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41 of 48 people found the following review helpful
By JW
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Many of us "know" Paul from his Windows Weekly show on Twit TV and from his SuperSite for Windows blog. We've come to respect him for his open and balanced outlook on all things Microsoft. And when it comes to Windows 8, that's just what is needed. When Steve Ballmer characterized Windows 8 as Microsoft's "riskiest bet", those of us who are going to use it as intended need someone who will explore and explain it in depth, and who will give its new and sometimes controversial features a fair shake. That's Paul.
I just received my copy of the book today, the second day it's available, but already I'm well into it and enjoying it greatly. I told my significant other that she is a "Windows Widow" tonight and I'll be up all night trying out new features. I've been running early forms of Windows 8 myself as they were made available to the public, both on my desktop PC as well as my touch screen Tablet PC. So I have a lot of hands-on experience. But I'm already finding out so much more from the book than I ever could have on my own.
The book is very well written, uses graphics and pointers creatively, and is very readable. Paul has probably been running various early forms of Windows 8 longer than anybody outside of Microsoft and it shows in the book. He knows Windows 8 better than anybody, and he knows how to explain it to the rest of us.
Kudos to Paul (and Rafael), for another book very well done.
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27 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Desktop Lives On September 6, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'm only up to Chapter 4. The chapter title tells the story "[Still] Alive and Kicking: The Windows Desktop" Those skeptics who decided Windows 8 is a big mistake will find that the Desktop is everything it was in Windows 7 and more. Don't believe the rumors that the Start Button and its right-click functions are gone. I guess you could say its an invisible button as are many of the "Metro" type features available from the Desktop. Its down there in the lower left corner complete with an extensive right-click menu for power users.

As expected the description of various way to install/upgrade Windows 8 were particularly useful as this appears to be one of the few (only complete?) book available before the release of Windows 8. This information was especially important to me as I expect to install it in a dual boot system which was thoroughly explained. When I mentioned the need to use a media-based install on Windows Eight Forums someone was surprised so I provided a quote from the book.

If you are serious about installing Windows 8 you really need this book (or the equivalent) before making your commitment to the new operating system.
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20 of 26 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A sheep in a wolf's coat December 4, 2012
Format:Paperback
You'd think that a book about OS secrets will tell you exciting stuff that you can't find out elsewhere. Wrong, with this book. A better title here would be "Windows 8 for Beginners" (or maybe that title is already taken by a competitor...). Everything here is rudimentary, and everything in this book can be found in any other beginner's book (published around the same time, so you can't say those other authors "took" ideas from this book) or simply for free on the Net. It's amazing the authors first say it's easy to choose an edition for Windows 8 (which it *is*), but then spend a lot of ink and pages on how to choose the right edition. Other books cover the same ground with better clarity wasting less ink or paper.

If you're truly new to Windows 8, I'd recommend My Windows 8 which is much better written, or Windows 8 Plain & Simple if you work best with lots of screenshots. For intermediate users who want *REAL* tips on Windows 8, you need none other than Windows 8 Inside Out; the Inside Out series always delivers on valuable advice including tons of info you won't find on the Net.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Paul, Always A Teacher
Paul Thurrott and his co author always write in a way that is easy to read and at the same time just technical enough to make their books readable. Read more
Published 2 months ago by GC
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book to get you started with Windows 8
I have several Windows 8 Books. Paul Thurrott who has been part of Windows IT Pro, and has his who site under: [...] has never let me down with his information and help I get. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Frances Steele
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for Windows users new to Windows 8
This book is informative and perfect for those new to Windows 8. I would recommend it to a layperson or an IT pro.
Published 7 months ago by P686
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good
Paul and Rafael have produced yet another thorough and concise book. I would recommend this book for anyone trying to understand the new world of windows 8.
Published 7 months ago by Tom Williams
3.0 out of 5 stars Useful at the time of Windows 8's first release but kind of dated now...
I ordered this thinking that I'd need to go back to this book regularly like one does for a video game manual but that wasn't the case. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Jeffrey F Knakal
3.0 out of 5 stars Windows 8 Secrets are still secret
Shipping and price was great but the content leaves a lot to be desired. It would appear that the Windows 8 Bible has better information. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Harry Jones
4.0 out of 5 stars OK for learning W 8
Really needed this. I've come a loong way since TRS DOS in the 70's . zThe operatingt system does sos much more and Window 8 is easier to learn than I thought it would be.
Published 8 months ago by Steve n
5.0 out of 5 stars great guide
This book is more like a guide for the correct use of Windows 8, the autor explain every aspect of the new OS
Published 10 months ago by Luis Fernando Martinez
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good read
I have read several how to books by Paul Thurrott, and found them very found informative. This book is very useful in learning WIN 8. Buy the book and learn WIN 8 from a pro!
Published 10 months ago by REDHAWK 99
3.0 out of 5 stars Just started
Windows 8,the oft maligned Microsoft operating system has a somewhat vocal champion in Paul Thurrott.If anyone can give you an idea on how to use the system Paul can. Read more
Published 11 months ago by gerald miller
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