Windows 8’s Anatomy (Part 4)

12/22/2012 9:12:31 AM

Classic and Modern wallpaper

All PCs and laptops that are run on Windows 8 and its Pro version can display the classic wallpaper of Windows. Juts tap or click on Tile in the bottom-left in Start screen.

Classic wallpaper seems assuring user immediately if you try to catch up with Modern UI, though the absence of old Start menu may panic some users. Set your mind at rest! You will soon get accustomed to executing apps from Start screen or shortcuts lying on wallpaper.

Some factors of Modern UI can be entered via classic wallpaper, like Charm bar and app list. This ensures the operating system’s consistence in both design and action, and somehow drives you to think that classic interface is just like one app – through which you can run Windows property apps.

Point the cursor to the bottom-left corner (where Start menu used to pop up in earlier Windows versions) then a thumbnail for new Start screen appears. It can be entered via Windows key.

Press bottom-left corner or Windows + X to show administration menu which offers quick access to tools that you used to see in Start menu. They are File Explorer, Run, Task Manager, Control Panel, Command Prompt, etc…

When using Windows 8 on laptop, you also have Mobility Center through which you are able to adjust brightness and power options.

Another way to enter settings is through Settings Charm. There, you will find shortcuts to Control Panel, Personalization and PC Info.

You may notice at Aero disappeared. There’re no translucent frames surrounding windows (only taskbar looks pretty transparent to some extent). Besides, simple square corners and elimination of shadows make thing a little dull. However, there’re still some conflicts, for example, Vista-styled buttons does lie on Image Previewer.

Ribbon interface, having appeared in Office 2007, was adopted by File Explorer, although it is, by default, hidden. You still see File, View and other menus. Clicking on each menu makes a vertical Ribbon (instead of a horizontal menu) visible.

Ribbon is sensitive to concept thus you will be provided with options suitable for your file format. Clicking Pictures folder, for instance, shows up two new tabs: Library Tools and Picture Tools. The first one is display whenever you are watching one folder which is a part of Library (Windows 7 introduced Libraries as a way to group similar files).

Pictures Tools offers buttons for rotating photos, playing slideshow, setting current image as wallpaper and showing Play To menu which allows you to display images on mobile devices.

In other words, wallpaper functions similar to that of Windows 7. Apps still have Jump Lists that pop up once you right-click taskbar icon to view recent files and which specific file you can pin.

Wallpaper interface

Wallpaper interface

Multi-monitor support

Like its predecessor, Windows 8 supports multi-monitors, though, with some differences. Despite that clock and notifications only appear in main screen, apps pinned to taskbar are displayed on both.

All monitors have “hot” corners, meaning that Charms bar will be available to turn up. Small 6-pixel traps prevents the cursor from moving to the second screen but you must point your cursor at screen’s top or bottom to catch them.

You can set up multi-monitors by right-click on wallpaper then select Screen resolution or via screen settings in Device Charm.

Start screen and Modern apps use one monitor. When Start screen is being viewed, the second monitor only shows classic wallpaper.

Switching between desktop and tablet

One of Windows 8’s best features is Sync your settings. This feature allows you to log in PC, laptop or other tablet that are operated on Windows 8 and find your Windows installation’s exact copy which looks and functions similarly.

This, of course, may not be accurate. For example, switching from a PC’s full-HD monitor to tablet’s one, Start screen’s files will be displayed in a different arrangement. It’s strange that their size won’t be maintained thus it’s possible to identify an app by remember its location.

You will find Sync your setting in Windows 8’s Settings. There, you can choose what to synchronize, from wallpapers to password or app settings and browser’s history… You only can synchronize password once pressing “Trust this PC” then clicking on confirmation email in your mail box.

Apps, themselves, are not synchronized. Thus, regardless the PC/tablet has apps installed via another user’s account; they won’t appear on Start screen until you install them. When installing an app that has been used somewhere else, you settings will be loaded.

You are able to install purchased apps into maximal 5 devices and you can log in to Store from 5 different devices.

User accounts and security

As Windows 8 connects with many different online accounts, it’s important that you should apply a powerful password for your account. You may create pattern password containing 3 movements drawn by finger or mouse.

It can be dot, line or circle, and you can also use your image. Setting up pattern password means that you don’t have to input a complex password every time when you start or resume your device.

Windows 8 has been the most secured Windows version ever. To synchronize password among Windows 8 devices, you must go through 2 confirmation steps to trust the device.

Only first-created account on Windows 8 has administration rights and only administrator is able create new users as well as install/remove apps. This is a sensitive configuration in most situations.

We feel that some apps (such as Chrome) can still be installed with standard user account while some (such as Skype) requires administration password.

Windows 8 uses new feature, Smart Screen, to prevent you from accidentally installing an app (which may contain malware) from the Internet. This process is done by checking hash value of app for a database. If the app is suitable but hash value isn’t, you will be warned. Along with Windows Defender, Microsoft’s anti-virus, it reduces the chance of getting virus and other malware.

Any malware getting through the first phase will have to struggle with the fact that Windows 8 has better security for kernel files and one more powerful memory manager. Modern apps are operated in Sandbox, which means that they are isolated from other apps. They have less privilege. For instance, they are only able to enter file and your location once given permission.

Windows 8 is the first OS that has ever used safe boot on main board with UEFI to prevent rootkit from messing you PC. It also takes advantage of Trust Platform Modules which can is used to identify whether your PC is trust-worthy when making online transaction.

No touchscreen? Use Touch Mouse

Microsoft Touch Mouse is not new with Windows 8, and designed to simplify Windows 7 operation. Its buttons form a kind of touch pad and support three-pointing gestures. We had a review for it at

After connected to Windows 8 PC, it can be used to show Charms bar and switch running apps. Other gestures reveal app list (similar to the process of sliding upward/downward on touchscreen), and zoom in/out any places where semantic zoom is supported.

All of Windows 7’s operations can be used in Windows 8. This means that you can scroll and type horizontally/vertically to navigate through documents and web pages. You can also manage windows on wallpaper by tapping on the left or right and zoom in/out or hide them or show all running apps.

As there’re no scrolling wheel and middle-click, you can assign new gestures to add this feature. It may take time to get along with sliding instead of scrolling the wheel but once you are acquainted, you should wonder how you will survive without them. For $1,400, it is considerably cheaper than touchscreen.

No touchscreen? Use Touch Mouse

Use Touch Mouse

Top 10
SG50 Ferrari F12berlinetta : Prancing Horse for Lion City's 50th
The latest Audi TT : New angles for TT
Era of million-dollar luxury cars
Game Review : Hearthstone - Blackrock Mountain
Game Review : Battlefield Hardline
Google Chromecast
Keyboards for Apple iPad Air 2 (part 3) - Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover for iPad Air 2
Keyboards for Apple iPad Air 2 (part 2) - Zagg Slim Book for iPad Air 2
Keyboards for Apple iPad Air 2 (part 1) - Belkin Qode Ultimate Pro Keyboard Case for iPad Air 2
Michael Kors Designs Stylish Tech Products for Women
- First look: Apple Watch

- 3 Tips for Maintaining Your Cell Phone Battery (part 1)

- 3 Tips for Maintaining Your Cell Phone Battery (part 2)
Popular Tags
Video Tutorail Microsoft Access Microsoft Excel Microsoft OneNote Microsoft PowerPoint Microsoft Project Microsoft Visio Microsoft Word Active Directory Exchange Server Sharepoint Sql Server Windows Server 2008 Windows Server 2012 Windows 7 Windows 8 Adobe Flash Professional Dreamweaver Adobe Illustrator Adobe Photoshop CorelDRAW X5 CorelDraw 10 windows Phone 7 windows Phone 8 Iphone