Microsoft's 'official' Windows 8 Survival Guide leaks
What you really, really need to know
[Note: We received this FAQ document anonymously and cannot confirm its authenticity. However, it has such dead useful advice, we thought we'd share it with you - Eds]
Q. Who is this guide for?
A. This guide is for users who want to take advantage of new technologies in Windows® - such as faster performance, shorter boot time, new virtualisation technology, and pooled storage - but wish to minimize the disruption to their personal workflow.
Q. What disruption should I expect in Windows® 8™?
The user is switched between two radically different sets of UI semantics and UI behaviours. The scale and information density of the two environments is also radically different.
Default applications in Windows® 8™ lack much of the functionality that of users expect from Windows® 7™, Windows® Vista™ and Windows® XP™. Helper apps and major bundled applications, such as the email client and web browser, will default to restricted versions.
Windows® 8™ duplicates some functionality and hides other functionality. In addition, some functionality may or may not be present at any time. For this, see Heisenfeature below.
To maintain a consistent level of inconsistency, Windows® 8™ also features non-deterministic design elements. See Heinsendesign below.
Q. How do I distinguish bugs from features?
A software bug is an undocumented and unwanted behaviour of a piece of software, which may be caused by carelessness, incompetence or possibly inebriation when the software is created. An example of a bug is a calculation program incorrectly adding two numbers.
- A software feature is a desired and typically documented behaviour of a piece of software. An example of a feature may be the ability to print a photograph from an image viewer helper application.
With Windows® 8™, Microsoft® has taken an innovative approach and discarded this taxonomy. The user is instead offered a holistic and integrated user experience where the old distinctions are no longer relevant. An aspect of the software’s behaviour may be a bug, or it may be a feature. For users unwilling to accept the distinction at first, this guide will help them maintain productivity while pivoting to the new Microsoft® Windows® 8™ user experience paradigm.
Q. How do I minimize context-switching?
Now, pressing the Windows® [Windows] key acts as a portal between two completely self-contained universes: the
Metro Notro desktop and the traditional Windows® desktop. Users are advised to avoid disruption by installing a third-party alternative.
Several are available, and are listed here in alphabetical order:
- All of these utilities add a traditional Start menu when the Windows® [Windows] key is pressed. The new Windows® 8™ 'Start' menu, which is not a 'Start' menu, remains but is no longer evoked by default. The most effective of these utilities is the paid application Start8 which allows the user to boot into the desktop and stay there for days, or weeks, without seeing
Metrothe new interface at all.
Q. What functionality is duplicated?
Q. How can I restore functionality missing in basic helper applications?
A. The default viewer application for images is a Metro application. It contains the following options:
The default viewer application for Adobe® Acrobat™ files contains the following options:
Users wishing to use features they expect from previous versions of Windows® should replace the default Metro applications with others provided. To change the image viewer:
- From the
MetroStart menu that isn't a Start menu, type "Default" and start the Default Programs application
- Choose the first option: "Set your default programs"
- In the list box, choose Windows® Photo Viewer, or your preferred application, e.g. IrfanView.
- Choose "Set this program as default"
- Click OK
- Navigate to the classic Windows® desktop
- Open Windows® Explorer
- Find an image and right click, and from the menu select "Open with…"
- Choose Windows® Photo Viewer from the options, and click OK
Note: we do not recommend opening PNG files in Windows® Notepad.
- Internet Explorer
- Microsoft 365
- Microsoft Build
- Microsoft Edge
- Microsoft Office
- Microsoft Surface
- Microsoft Teams
- Office 365
- Patch Tuesday
- SQL Server
- Visual Studio
- Visual Studio Code
- Windows 10
- Windows 11
- Windows 7
- Windows Server
- Windows Server 2003
- Windows Server 2008
- Windows Server 2012
- Windows Server 2013
- Windows Server 2016
- Windows XP
- Xbox 360