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58 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Windows 8 - Easy with this book; painful without it
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...
Published on October 26, 2012 by SeekingTraveler

versus
12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Windows secrets are still secret
This book is one of the worst computer books I have ever read. I thought it was overly verbose and rambling on my first read, and has since disappointed me every time I try to use it for answers to questions I come across. The book hints at answers, but more like a Windows 8 cheerleader than someone who knows the answers to those elusive questions which could be...
Published 22 months ago by Stephen Martinson


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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
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This review is from: Windows 8 Secrets (Paperback)
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. However, be warned: there are some videos that are inefficient and misleading; in other words, some of the well-intentioned video makers don't know the best Windows 8 "Secrets." The "Windows 8 Secrets" book was better (more accurate and more efficient) than any of the videos that I watched.

By the way, the Desktop is still there (just like previous versions of Windows). After you have setup your Desktop, Toolbars, and Start Screen, your computer will be (from that point forward) very quick and easy to use. Also, while the Start button (orb) is gone, it won't be missed: with the new features of Windows 8, it would have been entirely redundant. Any of your applications that run under Windows 7 should also run under Windows 8.

I will tell you the most useful Windows 8 "secret" (for me): Memorize and use the "Windows Key" (Winkey) keyboard shortcuts! For example, if you hold down the Winkey and press C, the "Charms" bar will be displayed. The "Charms" bar is perhaps the most important interface in Windows 8. Trust me: If you learn the Winkey keyboard shortcuts first thing, you will be able to get most things done in Windows 8 straight away!

Here are a few of the more helpful Winkey keyboard shortcuts:

Winkey: toggles between Start Menu and last app
Winkey + D: opens Desktop
Winkey + C: opens "Charms" bar
Winkey + E: opens file explorer
Winkey + F: searches for files
Winkey + I: opens the Settings charm (to shut down your computer, for example)
Winkey + Z: opens "app bar" (the menu user interface that is normally hidden when interacting with a Windows 8 app)
Winkey + X: opens the "power user" menu (which includes programs and features, power options, event viewer, system, device manager, disk management, computer management, command prompt, task manager, control panel, file explorer, search, run)

Lastly, while on the Start Menu, just start typing . . . and see what happens.
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41 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great work by the most respected Microsoft analyst!, September 5, 2012
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This review is from: Windows 8 Secrets (Paperback)
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
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FordLover37 (Rocklin, CA USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Windows 8 Secrets (Paperback)
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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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Windows secrets are still secret, December 11, 2012
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This review is from: Windows 8 Secrets (Paperback)
This book is one of the worst computer books I have ever read. I thought it was overly verbose and rambling on my first read, and has since disappointed me every time I try to use it for answers to questions I come across. The book hints at answers, but more like a Windows 8 cheerleader than someone who knows the answers to those elusive questions which could be regarded as secrets.

Unfortunately I bought the book before the reviews started coming in.
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21 of 28 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A sheep in a wolf's coat, December 4, 2012
This review is from: Windows 8 Secrets (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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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Windows 8 secrets is not for beginners, December 6, 2012
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This review is from: Windows 8 Secrets (Paperback)
I can't recommend this book for beginners. It was impossible to find the control panel using this book.
I had to buy WINDOWS 8 FOR DUMMIES that is a better book for beginners.
Buy the way to get the Control Panel, Move your cursor to the lower left corner and right click on the start tile.
then follow the menu.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good for beginners, October 7, 2012
This review is from: Windows 8 Secrets (Paperback)
I'd recommend it for beginners but not for others. For my money, the other Windows book I got was the better choice. That's the really windows 8 secrets book in my opinion. Chapter 6 on Windows Store really was the only useful chapter for me. The rest is covered better elsewhere. Not bad though over all if you are beginning Windows user.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars If you want to enjoy windows 8, Don't Read This Book., November 18, 2012
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This review is from: Windows 8 Secrets (Paperback)
Paul's own words "Microsoft writes ponderous, lengthy, and hard-to-understand blog posts about Windows 8. So now I'm going to explain what they're saying in plain English." hint at the emotional baggage that permeates this book. I found a lot of good information in "Windows 8 SECRETS" but it was framed with negativity that ruined my read.

To add insight to injury, I found the book long winded, brimming with irrelevancies and incomplete. First it explains why there really aren't any SECRETS in the book, but the topper is three full chapters on apps that have nothing what so ever to do with the OS. They could have used those pages to address the System Builders version new to Windows 8 and compatibility with existing systems like Windows Home Server.

This book is like hiring an expert swimming instructor that then p**s in your pool.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exactly what I was looking for, September 22, 2012
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This review is from: Windows 8 Secrets (Kindle Edition)
The author gives you a practical look at the "dual interfaces" in Windows 8. Instead of trying to convince you to abandon the classic Windows desktop or how to completely avoid the new Windows 8 start screen he guides you to getting the most out of each interface and how to make it as seamless as possible. I'm sure Microsoft thinks all the new features are easy to discover but without the assistance of Windows 8 Secrets I'm sure I would have missed out on several important new features.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great resource to understand Windows 8, September 13, 2012
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This review is from: Windows 8 Secrets (Paperback)
I pre-ordered this book and I read it and used a Windows 8 VM to follow its chapters. It covers both the tiled interface (old Metro) and the desktop use of Windows 8. I started from Chapter 4 -- using Windows 8 in the desktop, then went back to go over the tiled interface in chapters 3, 5 and 6. The Appendix has a summary of the Keyboard shortcuts when touch and mouse are hard to do what we want. I recommend this book to both beginners and intermediate users of Windows. It is well written and covers well the new version of Windows.
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Windows 8 Secrets
Windows 8 Secrets by Paul Thurrott (Paperback - September 4, 2012)
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