So, Windows 8 will be released to the public on October 26, 2012. As you may know, it is a pretty radical departure for Microsoft. Gone are our favorite little bits like the Start button and menu, the pretty transparent graphical user interface, most of the Windows ‘chrome’, some user interface customization and other small but collectively cool stuff. In is a new ‘Start’ page where all of your applications are accessed, a flattened appearance, more attention to typography and colors and the overall appearance. Also in are full screen apps and no overlapping windows (in the ‘metro’ interface.) The new Metro interface was, however, designed with touch interfaces in mind.
One thing that may not be apparent, however, is what to do if you do NOT have a touch enabled device. Well, mouse and keyboard do play nice with the Metro interface although, at first sight, this does not seem true.
One thing I’ve heard over and over is ‘how do you close down an application?’ Simple, just drag the app to the bottom of the screen. You can do this with the mouse or your finger if you have a touch device. Alternately, ALT-F4 still works. You can also kill the task with Task Manager. Finally, you can move the mouse to the upper left corner, watch the thumbnail appear, and slowly move the mouse down. A list of running apps will display. Hover over one and right click, then click CLOSE. The first two options are, however, the quickest.
Here are a few more hotkeys for Windows 8 that might make a non-touch user work a little easier:
|Keys:||Windows 8 Function|
|Windows+[space]||Switch language and keyboard|
|Windows+,||Show what’s on the desktop|
|Windows+[pgup] or [pgdown]||Move a Metro app to the monitor on left or right in multi monitor configuration|
|Windows+H||Opens the share charm|
|Windows+C||Opens the charm bar|
|Windows+[tab]||Switch between apps|
|Windows+Q||Opens the Search page|
|Windows+J||Move between the snapped and filled apps|
|Windows+E||Open Windows File Explorer (the old Windows Explorer renamed)|
|Windows+M||Go to the Windows Desktop|
Below is a chart from Microsoft explaining the touch and mouse gestures. Whish I had this a few months ago. As an aside, Microsoft will have a lot of education to give to the general public before Windows 8 will take off and not be a colossal flop.