Chapter 20: Windows 8 in action


To get a better idea of ​​how Windows 8 works, here are some videos showing some of the new functions and features, including the Start screen, toggle, and charms. Please note that the videos have no sound; there are descriptions below each video instead.

Play with tiles

The Start screen has replaced the Start menu button in Windows 8 and you can place shortcuts to any apps you want to use on this screen. In this video we show how easy it is to resize tiles and rearrange their position on the screen.

The switcher

In this video we show you what the switcher looks like. We moved the mouse pointer down to the bottom left corner until the “Start” button became visible, and then we moved the mouse pointer up until the switcher itself became visible. The switcher displayed the open apps. The first app we clicked on was Maps. We then called the switcher again to go to the Bing News app and then the Weather app.

Finally, we moved the mouse pointer to the upper-left corner of the screen and quickly clicked the icon to show how quickly you can switch between applications. The same effect can be achieved on a touchscreen computer by swiping your finger in from the left side of the screen.

Show all apps and start apps

By default, not all Windows applications appear on the Start screen. To see all of the Windows accessories and other apps, you need to right-click an empty spot on the Start screen (i.e. not a tile) and then click All apps. You can see that we then launched Notepad, which brought us to the desktop environment.


You can bring up the Charms bar by moving your mouse pointer to the lower-right corner of the screen until it disappears, and then moving it up. After the Charms bar appears, we’ll show what it’s like to use the different charms in it. We’ll start by pressing the home screen charm and then move on to the settings charm.

Here’s the Seeking Spell in action. Searches can also be performed by going to the home screen and typing the first few letters of your intended search.

The snap function

The snap feature can be used to display two apps on the screen at the same time. It’s useful if you’re using the desktop and want to keep track of a new-style Windows 8 app at the same time. In this example, we’ll open the Maps app and drag it to the right, then bring up the desktop on the left side of the screen.

We then show how easy it is to rearrange the screen and make the Maps app the focal point while relegating the desktop to the side. Finally, we’ll show you how to close an app by clicking and dragging it down from the top of the screen.

In this video we show you how new style apps look when viewed in full screen and what happens when you right click on them to bring up their options.

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