TECHconnection love Windows 8
Eight reasons to
BY NOW YOU’VE likely heard about Microsoft’s
brand-new operating system, Windows 8. It represents the most significant update since Windows 95
debuted 17 years ago.
After spending some hands-on time with
Windows 8—on traditional PCs as well as touch-screen tablets—I’m certain you’ll love the changes,
though it might take a little getting used to (you can
revert back to the “classic” look at any time). Here
are eight reasons to upgrade to Windows 8.
1. A fresh desktop. Like Windows Phone
devices, Windows 8 has replaced small, static icons
with big, beautiful tiles. All the information and
apps (programs) you care about are in one place on
the Start screen—simply click (or tap) a tile to
launch it. Info and photos are updated in real time,
so you can see how many new emails are waiting
for you, the latest photos uploaded to Facebook,
weather, sports scores and more. And you get to
decide where everything goes by simply dragging
and dropping the tiles wherever you like.
2. Consistency is king. Whether you’re on a
Windows 8 computer, tablet or smartphone, you’ll
notice a consistent look and feel across all of these
devices, beginning with the Start screen and the
colorful, dynamic tiles. Plus, when you sign into
any of your devices running Windows 8, all your
personalized settings and apps are right there as
they’re automatically synchronized between PCs,
tablets and phones. This includes cloud services
such as SkyDrive, Facebook, Twitter and Flickr.
3. App it up. Long gone are the days of cumbersome software installation. Windows 8’s direct
access to the Windows Store means it’s a breeze to
find, download and run apps on your device.
Whether it’s a productivity tool, the latest game or
an e-book, it’s never been easier to browse and buy
apps to truly personalize your experience in a myriad of ways. And, as noted, your apps are synchronized between Windows 8 devices.
4. Take control. Rather than making you
choose how to interface with your content,
Windows 8 supports multiple input devices, including keyboard and mouse, touch and stylus pen. The
operating system was designed from the ground up
to work the way you want to—as long as the hardware supports it, of course (currently, not many
desktop or laptop PCs have
a touch screen, for example). Windows 8 tablets
support external keyboards or you can pull up
one of two virtual keyboards to type on, along
with support for flicking,
pinching to zoom and
other intuitive gestures.
5. Perfect for people.
The People app brings up
your contacts, and it shows
not only phone numbers and
email and street addresses, but
also social networking info,
including tweets, Facebook
posts, photos and more. In other
words, each of your contacts get his
or her own page, with all relevant
info—messages, status updates and photos—in one place. Compare this to most other
platforms, where you must close one app (say,
Facebook) to open another (Contacts).
6. Safety first. Along with integrated security
software, Windows 8 has an optional app called
Microsoft Family Safety, which lets you set up
accounts for your children. The software monitors
your children’s online activities and lets you know
what they’re doing, where they’re going and who
they’re communicating with. Family Safety also lets
you set up Web filtering, time limits, app restrictions and more options.
7. The Web, super-sized. Built into Windows
8 is Internet Explorer 10, the first browser to feature a “Do Not Track” privacy option turned on by
default, plus it can warn you against malware
(malicious software) and phishing attempts. The
browser dedicates your entire screen to your websites for an edge-to-edge view, and browser tabs
and navigation controls appear only when you
want them (and then disappear when you don’t).
8. Easy upgrade. Going from Windows 7 to
Windows 8 offers a seamless upgrade, as your settings, personal files and apps are preserved during
the transition. From Windows Vista, settings and
personal files are intact; from Windows XP, personal
files make the jump to Windows 8 (though apps can
be reinstalled after the upgrade is complete). C
electronics or computers
you purchased at
Costco? Email them to:
Or mail to:
The Costco Connection
P.O. Box 34088
Seattle, WA 98124-1088
or fax to (425) 313-6718.
“Marc Saltzman Q&A”
in the subject line. Marc
will answer selected ques-
tions in this column. We
regret that unpublished
questions cannot be
The Costco Connection
Costco offers a variety of computers from leading
manufacturers with the new Microsoft Windows 8
operating system in the warehouses and online at
Costco.com. Also available are Windows 8 smartphones in the warehouses and Costco.com.
a leading high-tech
to more than three
on radio and TV, and is
the author of 15 books.
He’s on Twitter at
OCTOBER 2012 ;e Costco Connection 19