The Big Guide: 20 Tips and Tricks to Get The Most Out of Windows 8

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polka

a friend's sister-in-law makes $65 hourly on the laptop. She has been laid off for 6 months but last month her pay was $19426 just working on the laptop for a few hours. Go to this web site and read more NuttyRich dot com

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bobbintb

That netplwiz tip is nothing new. That's been around since Vista.

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razorpetti37

Just curious, but does anyone agree that this new "picture password" seems awfully easy to break? If Windows 8 were on a tablet, you could easily watch someone make three swipes across their screen and based on what finger smudges were left on the glass, determine the exact location of their password.

Even on a desktop, if I were sitting within view of the screen, it would be very easy to just watch the person's mouse get dragged to the three separate areas. This reminds me of the security complaints people have about Android's finger swiping unlock pattern, but even simpler to break.

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Mike_Holli

Actually UNLESS you have an EXACT twin it isn't easy to break it. I use the picture password with my picture. Only thing I have notice with it is if my glasses aren't on the bridge of my nose the same way as with my picture password it will not log me in, so I have to adjust them, other than that I love it.

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razorpetti37

I think you misunderstood what type of password I was referring to. I was referring to item #15 on this list. To create the password, you choose any picture, and draw a few gestures on top of the picture. To enter the password, you re-draw the gestures in the correct order.

This is different than the facial recognition you are talking about.

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Klausey

I've been using the consumer preview for a while now as a secondary OS and I love it. It's sooo efficient with screen real estate, I no longer feel cluttered.

For all the folks complaining that it is "impossible to use", are you really the power users you pretend to be? Windows8 is FANTASTIC for power users. I can click one switch and have almost all of my power user tiles at my fingertips on the Metro UI. I can interface directly with my Xbox360. I can right click on the desktop icon for even MORE advanced shortcuts (I think Murphy mentioned this). AND I can do all of it quickly and efficiently because - guess what? - it's all about 1 or 2 clicks away. No more digging through menus and running programs to run a program (I'm looking at you, "run" and "search").

The only people complaining are those who are too old and set in their ways to understand the power of the new system.

To Murphy - Great article, there were a few tips in here I hadn't stumbled on yet. And the safe mode exclusion is so bizarre! I hadn't run into a need for it yet, but not having it leaves me befuddled.

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FuzzDad

I have to say it took me a few days but I'm very pleased with it. It runs all my games perfectly fine, I've figured out the menus...your article helped me figure out a bit more...this reminds me when they went to the ribbon bar in office...now I wouldn't know what to do with the old way. I suspect there will be an official way to return to the standard start orb for business users soon so the doomsayers will calm down.

I do have one technical issue...it appears Logitech G15 users have a screen freeze issue when trying to bring up the charms or metro interface...a bunch of us have reported that.

Here's what I would recommend to folks...give it a try...it's fun once you figure e navigation out...not as intuitive as the iPad I'm typing this on (yet) but I have a suspicion is is going to be a solid OS with a future.

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kpm292

I am an IT Tech for a College and there is no way I would deploy this OS at our campus. We would have to retrain staff and faculty on how to use a computer again. The students wouldn't even know how to navigate the OS on one of our 600 lab computers...Microsoft needs to keep a more classic style desktop for Business users. Without this they are going to really hurt themselves with this release. Just my two cents on this topic...

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kevaskous

Yet my mother with little to no understanding of PC's and minimal of Mac gets it just fine, think you're highly exaggerating.

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Scatter

The thing is that there's no reason for people to have to relearn a new OS. From my experiences with Windows 8 so far it's really just Windows 7 with a few new tweaks and apps and a new user shell. There's absolutely no reason or excuse for not having the ability to toggle a 'classic mode' interface. Its all still in there.

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kevaskous

It's way more than that, similar maybe but nothing is the "same" the fact you say so proves you dunno what you are looking at. The list of improvements on this OPS is half a mile long, pre-beta. There is a massive list of compelling reasons to upgrade and Metro is already nice, coming from a power user, I don't touch the start orb, no point, i use a dock, why do i use a dock? more powerful, faster when dealing with tons of applications and variants of it.

With windows 8 metro, i no longer need my dock, and all of the major selling points of Start are still there. My mom and myself knew what was going on within 5 minutes, some learning curve mate. People just hate anytime something changes, better or worse people grab their pitchforks, get over it, learn it, it is easy enough I could probably train my dog to use it.

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TechW

One of my favorite features in Windows 7 is the Snipping Tool. I use it all the time. Save or copy any part of the screen quickly to a .jpg or .png. I can't see how Windows 8 is an improvement on that.

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michaelh

I don't know that I've ever been a fan of the whole Windows experience. Windows 7 searching has been the greatest improvement in the GUI since Windows 3.1. This is a step backwards.

Who's their audience? If I were a tablet user or looking for a "My First Computer" for someone who hadn't already used something more intuitive, I'd consider it. Metro shoves everything front and center that I don't care about and seems to tuck anything I want behind a menu or two. There's no consistency to what menus do when you open them making every mining expedition a new adventure in annoyance.

If, for some reason, there's some compelling reason to switch down the road, I'll be using the Start on Desktop tweak and enjoying the improved Search.

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big_montana

How is Windows 8 search a step back? With Windows 7 you had to click on Start first to find search. With Windows 8 no clicking involved, just start typing. Cannot be any easier than that. As far as what you want to use being tucked away, use the search and just type the name of what you are looking for. That is how I work in Win 7 now, as use the search to launch everything instead of clicking on it as it is easier and quicker. I guess some people just do not like change of any sort.

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heila

my roomate's aunt makes $83/hr on the laptop. She has been without work for 8 months but last month her pay was $8682 just working on the laptop for a few hours. Read more on this site...NuttyRich . com

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leper1983

To quickly reboot you can hit Win+I and then just click the power button at the bottom and it'll bring up (sleep, restart, shutdown)

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JohnP

or just install the Control panel gadget on the desktop which gives one click buttons for reboot, shutdown,sleep,control panel and couple of others of your choice...

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someuid

Metro is pretty much underwhelming. I see little reason to issue an entirely new OS just for this.

Basic stuff is missing - how to change the colors of the tiles, the current time (without having to drag my mouse to the lower right corner, then up to get it to display), and more granular control over the columns of tiles. Maybe I'd like four groups of tiles in the 4 corners of the screen, or some other setup. Nope. You get columns, top justified and that's that. And orange, green, purple and red for tile colors.

The integration with online services really spooks me. Click on Photos and you get My Pictures (what I expected) as well as SkyDrive, Facebook and Flickr. Calendar requires a Live ID. We're going to be hearing about a lot of apps that upload a lot of user info without the user knowing about it. You know this is going to bring the those companies with low morals and ethics out in droves - waiting to pry on the millions of clueless Windows users out there.

Yeah, this is great for a tablet and MS should have written a Metro overlay for Windows 7 2 years ago. But this does not belong on a desktop or laptop computer for anyone who wants to do anything other than check in with their friend's social lives.

This is a complete disaster for a business. I'd be interested to see how many of their software engineers would want to do programing on Windows 8, or how many of their IT people manage the network on Windows 8. I'd gather none of them other than the two or three showpiece employees they tell to do it for some marketting material.

I just went back into Photos and opened up its charm panel (oh god, please don't make me use that word when trying to help an employee over the phone!) and clicked on permissions. Yeah. Scarey. Photos has access to the pictures library (expected) but also my credentials, my music, the network, software and hardware certificates, incoming network connections and more.

This is going to be a malicious software writer's wet dream. There is no way on earth I'm using this OS for real work at home (tracking home finances, doing my taxes, writing resumes, communicating with a lawyer, etc.) It is only going to take a few apps that slip through Microsoft's app review system and we're going to have some HUGE privacy leaks. I bet someone in Anonymous is already hard at work writing an app and formulating a way to get it through the review process to get at and upload every shred of info on your Win8 PC.

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strangelove9

Thank you for pointing these things out!

Is anyone else listening? MPC folks? Anyone?

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opticallog

I installed the OS with a local account on a spare computer at my office. One of my co-workers then logged into the Metro "People" app to give it a test drive. We could not figure out how to log out of the People app, or any other Metro Apps associated with a Windows Live account. Anyone else come across this as well?

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JohnP

Password trick did not work on boot up. I came up with a "error- incorrect password" and a screen with my user name and a box for the password. I set up my machine using Windows Live...

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TheMurph

Hmm.  Let me check on that.  I might have used the trick for a local account, and then swapped that for a Microsoft Account later on.

I'll get back to you on that one.  :) 

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JohnP

Windows 8 Consumer Preview: Windows Key Keyboard Shortcuts

Hotkeys unchanged from Windows 7

Key combination Windows 7 functionality

Windows - Display or hide the Start menu.
Windows-Left Arrow Dock the active window to the left half of the screen (does nothing to Metro-style applications).
Windows-Right Arrow Dock the active window to the right half of screen (does nothing to Metro-style applications).
Windows-Up Arrow Maximize the active window (does nothing to Metro-style applications).
Windows-Down Arrow Restore/minimize the active window (does nothing to Metro-style applications).
Windows-Shift-Up Arrow Maximize the active window vertically, maintaining width (does nothing to Metro-style applications).
Windows-Shift-Down Arrow Restore/minimize the active window vertically, maintaining width (does nothing to Metro-style applications).
Windows-Shift-Left Arrow Move the active window to the monitor on the left (does nothing to Metro-style applications).
Windows-Shift-Right Arrow Move the active window to the monitor on the right (does nothing to Metro-style applications).
Windows-P Display projection options.
Windows-Home Minimize all nonactive windows; restore on the second keystroke (does not restore Metro-style applications).
Windows-number Launch or switch to the program located at the given position on the taskbar. (Example: Use Windows-1 to launch the first program.)
Windows-Shift-number Launch a new instance of the program located at the given position on the taskbar.
Windows-B Set focus in the notification area.
Windows-Break Display the System Properties dialog box.
Windows-D Show the desktop; restore on the second keystroke (does not restore Metro-style applications).
Windows-E Open Windows Explorer, navigated to Computer. Windows-Ctrl-F Search for computers (if you are on a network).
Windows-Ctrl-F Search for computers (if you are on a network).
Windows-G Cycle through Windows Desktop Gadgets.
Windows-L Lock your computer (if you’re connected to a network domain), or switch users (if you’re not connected to a network domain).
Windows-M Minimize all windows.
Windows-Shift-M Restore minimized windows to the desktop (does not restore Metro-style applications).
Windows-N Create a new note (OneNote).
Windows-R Open the Run dialog box.
Windows-S Open screen clipper (OneNote).
Windows-T Set focus on the taskbar and cycle through programs.
Windows-Alt-Enter Open Windows Media Center. Note that Windows Media Center must be installed for this key combo to function; in many Windows 8 builds, it is not present.
Windows-U Open Ease of Access Center.
Windows-X Open Windows Mobility Center.
Windows-F1 Launch Windows Help and Support.
Windows-N Create a new note (OneNote).
Windows-S Open screen clipper (OneNote).
Windows-Q Open Lync. Note that in Windows 8 the Search function overrides this key combo.
Windows-A Accept an incoming call (Lync).
Windows-X Reject an incoming call (Lync). Note that this key combo does not function if Windows Mobility Center is present on the machine.
Windows-Minus Zoom out (Magnifier).
Windows-Plus Zoom in (Magnifer).
Windows-Esc Close Magnifier.

New hotkeys for the Windows 8 Consumer Preview

Key combination Windows 8 functionality

Ctrl-Shift-Esc Starts Task Manager
Windows-Space Switch input language and keyboard layout.
Windows-O Lock device orientation.
Windows-, Temporarily peek at the desktop.
Windows-V Cycle through toasts.
Windows-Shift-V Cycle through toasts in reverse order.
Windows-Enter Launch Narrator.
Windows-PgUp Move the Start Screen or a Metro-style application to the monitor on the left.
Windows-PgDown Move the Start Screen or a Metro-style application to the monitor on the right. Windows-Shift-. Move the gutter to the left (snap an application).
Windows-. Move the gutter to the right (snap an application).
Windows-C Open the Charms bar.
Windows-I Open the Settings charm.
Windows-K Open the Connect charm.
Windows-H Open the Share charm.
Windows-Q Open the Search pane.
Windows-W Open the Settings Search app.
Windows-F Open the File Search app.
Windows-Tab Cycle through apps.
Windows-Shift-Tab Cycle through apps in reverse order.
Windows-Ctrl-Tab Cycle through apps and snap them as they cycle.
Windows-Z Open the App Bar.
Windows-/ Initiate input method editor (IME) reconversion.
Windows-J Swap foreground between the snapped and filled apps.

Start screen/Metro

The following Windows key shortcuts work in the new Windows shell/Start screen.
WINKEY (tap) Toggles between the Start screen and the foremost running app (Metro-style) or the Windows Desktop.
WINKEY + 1, WINKEY + 2, etc. - Switch to the (classic) Windows desktop and launch the nth shortcut in the Windows taskbar. So WINKEY + 1 would launch whichever application is first in the list, from left to right.
WINKEY + B Switch to the (classic) Windows desktop and select the tray notification area.
WINKEY + C Display Charms and time/date/notification overlay.
WINKEY + D Switch to the (classic) Windows desktop and toggle Show Desktop (hides/shows any applications and other windows).
WINKEY + E Switch to the (classic) Windows desktop and launch Windows Explorer with Computer view displayed.
WINKEY + F Display File Search pane
WINKEY + H Display Share charm.
WINKEY + I Display Settings charm.
WINKEY + J Swaps foreground between the snapped and filled apps.
WINKEY + K Display Connect charm.
WINKEY + L Lock PC and return to Lock screen.
WINKEY + M Minimize the selected Explorer window.
WINKEY + O Toggle orientation switching on slate and tablet PCs.
WINKEY + P Display the new Project (for "projection") pane for choosing between available displays.
WINKEY + Q Search (within) Apps using the new Search pane.
WINKEY + R Switch to the (classic) Windows desktop and display the Run box.
WINKEY + U Switch to the (classic) Windows desktop and launch the Ease of Access Center.
WINKEY + V Cycles through Notification toasts.
WINKEY + W Display Settings Search pane
WINKEY + SHIFT + V Cycles through Notification toasts in reverse order.
WINKEY + X Access the advanced context menu on the Start preview tip.
WINKEY + Z Access the App Bar.
WINKEY + ENTER Launches Narrator.
WINKEY + SPACEBAR Switch input language and keyboard layout
WINKEY + TAB Cycle through apps in Switcher.
WINKEY + SHIFT + TAB Cycle through apps in Switcher in reverse order.
WINKEY + CTRL + TAB Cycle through apps, snapping them as you go.
WINKEY + , Peeks at the Windows desktop.
WINKEY + . Snaps application to the left.
WINKEY + SHIFT + . Snaps application to the right.
WINKEY + PGUP Moves the Start screen to the display on the left.
WINKEY + PGDN Moves the Start screen to the display on the right.

Windows desktop/Explorer

The following Windows key shortcuts work in the classic Windows desktop. Note that while many of these shortcuts also work in Windows 7, some are new to Windows 8.

WINKEY (tap) Toggles between the Windows desktop environment and the new Start screen.
WINKEY + 1, WINKEY + 2, etc. Launch the nth shortcut in the Windows taskbar. So WINKEY + 1 would launch whichever application is first in the list, from left to right.
WINKEY + B Select the tray notification area.
WINKEY + C Display Charms and time/date/notification overlay.
WINKEY + D Toggle Show Desktop (hides/shows any applications and other windows).
WINKEY + E Launch Windows Explorer with Computer view displayed.
WINKEY + F Search Files using the new Windows Search pane.
WINKEY + I Display Settings pane for Windows Desktop (also provides access to Networks, Volume, Screen Brightness, Notifications, Power, and Language).
WINKEY + L Lock PC and return to Lock screen.
WINKEY + M Minimize the selected Explorer window.
WINKEY + O Toggle orientation switching on slate and tablet PCs.
WINKEY + P Display the new Project (for "projection") pane for choosing between available displays.
WINKEY + Q Search (within) Apps using the new Windows Search pane.
WINKEY + R Display Run box.
WINKEY + U Launch Ease of Access Center.
WINKEY + W Search Settings using the new Windows Search pane.
WINKEY + X Display Windows Mobility Center application.
WINKEY + ARROW KEYS Aero Snap.

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JohnP

Here is a link to where you can download these Win8 keyboard shortcuts in Word .doc or.docx form. go down to the bottom of my last post...

http://www.eightforums.com/general-discussion/4548-collection-windows-8-keyboard-shortcuts.html

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D1stinct

I've spent only a couple of hours playing around with W8 in a VM and can honestly say some of these I did not stumble upon. Thanks for the great article, can't wait to get this on a tablet!

@ PC friendly.... it is a tablet OS, how hard is that to comprehend? It just happens you can get to the desktop, which I can honestly say isn't exactly desktop friendly.

@ mini6090... "LISTEN to your users, please." What users? Most of them have already bought their new iPads... oh and btw... it's a Consumer Preview, this isn't the final version.

Some people just can't comprehend the two paths that personal computing is starting to take... most of these people happen to be Windows users. On one hand you have an extremely large group of consumers that don't need a desktop PC to fulfill their basic computing needs. On the other hand you do have consumers that either need/want that, Microsoft is trying to bridge that gap, and is obviously leaning toward the branch that is most important.

And yeah, my statement doesn't take into account the business side, which will stick with Windows 7 because IT admins know what the hell their doing, although; we will roll out a W8 on tablets by the truck load, I've got a good portion of my budget ready to purchase some day 1!

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mini6090

Oh i understand this is not a final build by any means, but from the developer preview to the consumer preview, we lost the start button. I'm assuming it won't be there at all in the final release, but you're right, we don't know. It seemed like Microsoft really listened to the feedback about Windows 7, and that's why it's so great. Thus the marketing campaign, windows 7 was my idea. Windows 8 is Microsoft's idea through and through. And please, do not compare a fully functional operating system to the crap that comes with the ipad. Even if someone owns an ipad, they most likely still need an actual computer.

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Eoraptor

i'm fairly sure i'll wait out this schizophrenic OS for win9.

One thing i really want in the final version, though, is a way to adjust swipe speed. at first i thought that my touch drivers were screwed up, but nope, just have to swipe REALLY fast to get the charms thing up.

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strangelove9

Leaving aside the love-it-or-hate it aspect of the UI... What really concerns me is the fact that the multitasking is no longer up to par.

While reading the Ars Technica review of Win8, I came across this little nugget:

"The other big thing setting Metro apps apart from traditional Windows applications is that they're subject to a severely curtailed multitasking model—again, not dissimilar to that of the iPad. Typically, Metro applications can only actually run when they're visible. If they become hidden (by starting another application or switching to the desktop) then after a few seconds they'll be suspended. Start enough applications, and the suspended apps will get terminated altogether.

Applications which need to avoid suspension and termination can do so to an extent. There are provisions to play music in the background, and applications such as VoIP clients can create long-lived network connections that can respond to events, such as a notification of an incoming call. These background tasks are subject to tight CPU time and network usage restrictions.

In practice, the system appears to do what it's supposed to: suspending and killing tasks in the background without user intervention. I'm not sure I'm entirely happy with it, though. It's disconcerting to be flipping through running tasks only to discover a task that you were running has now disappeared because the operating system has killed it. I'm not sure why the operating system couldn't pretend the application were still running so that I can still flick to it, even if it means having to restart it."

You can read the details here (scroll to Page 3 of the article): http://arstechnica.com/microsoft/news/2012/03/microsofts-ambitious-step-into-the-future-the-windows-8-consumer-preview.ars/3

I'm sorry, but this, for me, is a BIG alarm bell. I'm running machines with 16 GB or RAM... there's NO excuse for the OS to force my applications to close, because I have more than enough resources to keep them running in the background. And this unlimited multitasking is EXACTLY why IO have a PC, and I dislike the iPad and its brethren.

Please, MaximumPC, look more carefully and deeply into this matter. We can restore the Start orb with third-party applications like this one from Stardock http://www.stardock.com/products/start8/ - but changes to the way in which the PC is supposed to act should not and must not be encouraged!

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mini6090

How much did microsoft pay for you to write this as if this operating system was a good upgrade? I even found a way to love Vista, but this is not impressing me at all. You have to make a shortcut for the shutdown command to shut your own pc off... that's pathetic. I can't find anything in Windows 8, Solitaire is like an actual application for some reason and the UI completely takes away from the multitasking i'm used to and, like a phone, forces me into one application with a confusing way of leaving it to get to something else. Give me back my start button, and please Microsoft, ASK the user if they want a crappy interface instead of what they've been using for the last decade and a half. Don't make Windows 7 the new XP in the sense that no one will ever leave it because the newer versions are not cutting it. LISTEN to your users, please.

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TheMurph

"How much did microsoft pay for you to write this as if this operating system was a good upgrade?"

 

I'm feeding the troll, but you'll be happy to know that we'll be debuting our "8 things we hate about Windows 8" story tomorrow.  Also, just because we detail tips and tricks on how to use your operating system doesn't mean that we necessarily give it thumbs up across the board.  This article isn't a review.

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igoka

Calling someone troll ? Really ? Are you a child or respectful editor for a god sake ?

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mini6090

I appreciate that igoka, i'm no troll... I'll wait for your top 8 worst things about Windows 8 and see if it matches my list. Honeslty, the way i read this list, it seemed like you were excited about these changes. Using a command line shortcut to shut down a computer should be neither a tip nor trick, but on the other hand it did take me about 5 minutes to find the "off" button, so maybe it is.

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TheMurph

I'm excited about giving Maximum PC users new ways to interact with their operating system, ways that save them time, energy, and headaches for the many different ways they use their computers.

Hotkeys and keyboard shortcuts have been in Windows since the dawn of time. That doesn't mean that having this information front-and-center, especially as it relates to the new features of Windows 8, isn't something worth sharing or "getting excited about," as it were.

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TheMurph

"How much did microsoft pay for you to write this as if this operating system was a good upgrade?"

You're right.  I'll be much more respectful the next time someone tells me I'm on the take.

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BonsaiGreg

Well played, Murph. Well played.

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imagonex

We should send Ninja Cats after the troll! WOOOAAAR!

On a side note, I enjoyed the article. Actually, it is aimed at MaximumPC users! Users that do more than just click a mouse button. The tweaks, tricks and additional information on this "consumer" preview reflects the curiosity of enthusiasts. As far as all the whining over Metro, there's always access to the desktop GUI in Windows8. MaximumPC is all about maximum knowledge.

Murph, keep up the good work. MAXIMUMPC all the way!

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mini6090

Just to say... ninja cats sound awesome. I wrote that initial comment because Im upset in general about how Windows 8 is coming out. I felt that there would be more sarcasm and anger towards the things that need to be considered tips and tricks. Having said that, i enjoy reading the articles on mpc. I find myself learning a good amount about random applications and technology in general. I am no troll, just someone with an opinion.

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imagonex

Ok, I called-off the attack. Puppies and kittens instead!

Fact: MaximumPC's review are independent of their marketing department. If they don't like something, they'll call as it is. If something deserves a 1/10, it gets it. If it gets 10/10 (which is extremely rare) they will gladly hand over a 10. No one at MaximumPC ever got paid from any company for writing any of their product reviews. From day one, from Boot until now.

Ninja Cats send hugs and kisses. :-)

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PC Friendly

I think I'll be waiting for Windows 9...

I try to be open minded, but this looks like a glorified tablet OS to me. I see nothing that says "Wow. Look at how much more productive I'll be" or "Incredible use of multitasking" or "A genious method of dealing with File systems. So much more stable". I'll keep checking it out but I'm simply seeing this as a just a bell and whistle OS at this point.

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