How To Search Apps/Files in Windows 8?

One of the biggest changes in Windows 8 is that they have gotten rid of the famous start button in Windows 8. However, there are ways in which you can get back the start button in Windows 8.

Search Files/Apps/Settings Windows 8 Start Menu

One of the key features that Windows Start button provided in previous versions like Windows 7 and Windows Vista was the ability to search for files and applications using the search box in the start menu. However, even though Windows 8 does not include the start button, searching for apps and files is not hard at all.

In order to search for applications, files or even settings, just hit the Windows key and start typing whatever you want to search for. Once you do that, Windows 8 will show you the search menu where you will be able to search for apps, settings and files.

Also Read: Tutorial – Navigating Windows 8 | Get Windows 8 Upgrade Discount

Typing text will display the search results on the left hand side pane. You can easily navigate between app results, settings results and file results by using your mouse or arrow keys in the right hand pane.

Bonus Tip: If you want to browse all the installed apps on Windows 8, hit the Windows key and then start typing something. Once you are on the search screen, just hit the escape key and Windows 8 will list out all the installed apps to you.

Add Windows Start Button/Menu in Windows 8

One of the important thing that is missing in Windows 8 from Windows 7 and Windows Vista is the start button. Old Windows users have become so accustomed to the Windows start button and menu that they found it very surprising to be missing from Windows 8.

Windows 8 Start Button Menu

However, getting back the Windows start button and menu in Windows 8 has now become a breeze thanks to a new application from Startdock called Start8.

Also Read: Tutorial – Navigating Windows 8 | Get Windows 8 Upgrade Discount

Unlike an earlier Windows 8 Start button, Start8 is a free Windows 8 application which will add a fully functional Windows 8 start button which resembles the one in Windows 7.

Once you install the Start8 application the Windows key will bring up the start menu just like earlier versions of Windows instead of taking you to the Start screen. You can also search your files, apps and settings like you did in earlier versions of Windows (Read: Search files, apps and settings in Windows 8).

Start8 is definitely a good application for people who are used to the Windows start button and menu and want to continue using it till they get accustomed with Windows 8 features.

Start8 Features

  • Windows 7 style Start menu with Windows 8 enhancements
    • Users can search for Windows 8-style (Metro) apps with it
    • Users can pin desktop and Metro apps
    • Full support for Jump Lists
    • Unified Search
    • Users can boot directly to the Windows 8 desktop
    • Fast access to shut down, devices, music, documents, videos
  • Automatically matches color to the color of the taskbar
  • Start button is now skinnable
  • Optionally disable the desktop “hot spots”
  • Supports WindowFX 5.1 startmenu animations “currently in beta”
  • The Windows 8 Start screen becomes accessible from the Start menu
  • Start menu size fully configurable
  • Adds option for WinKey to show fullscreen Metro desktop

Download Start8 for Windows 8

Important Note: After installing Start8 clicking the Windows key will not take you to the “Start screen” and instead open the Windows start button menu. You can configure the software to change that behavior.

Samsung Announces Tablet-Notebook Hybrids: Ativ Smart PC and Smart PC Pro

Samsung unveiled a boatload of stuff at its IFA 2012 event. We have already written about the Galaxy Note II, the Galaxy Camera, the Ativ S, and the Ativ Tab. Two other stars of the Ativ line-up that Samsung introduced yesterday are – Ativ Smart PC and Ativ Smart PC Pro.


Samsung Ativ Smart PC

The Ativ Smart PC is a hybrid device that can act as both a tablet and a notebook. The Ativ PC features an 11.6-inch ten figure multi-touch display with a resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels that can be easily removed from the keyboard dock to function as a neat looking tablet. Under the hood, the Ativ PC is powered by a Clover Trail based Intel Atom processor, which might not be the fastest chip around, but is efficient enough to extract 13.5 hours of battery backup. There is a 5-megapixel rear camera and a 2 mega-pixel front cam.

Samsung Ativ Smart PC Pro

Samsung Ativ Smart PC Pro

Ativ Smart PC Pro packs in more power thanks to the Intel Core i5 processor, and lasts a respectable 8 hours on battery. Other specs have also been beefed up in the Pro edition. The tablet comes with a full HD (1920 x 1080) display, and the rear camera has been upgraded to 8 mega-pixels. Both the devices will ship with Windows 8 and are being touted as fully Windows 7 compatible.

Samsung is also bundling the S Pen that we saw in the Note 2 with the Ativ hybrids. The Smart PC includes a USB 2.0 port, while the Pro edition ships with an USB 3.0 port. Additionally, the keyboard dock for both features two extra USB 2.0 ports. Other known features include mHDMI and miniSD compatibility. The devices will probably be released in the US on October 26 when Windows 8 starts shipping. The Smart PC will cost $750 (a hundred bucks less if you don’t want they keyboard dock), while the Smart PC Pro will cost $1119.

Samsung Announces The Ativ Tab Windows RT Tablet

Earlier today, Samsung announced the Ativ lineup for devices based on the Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 Operating System. After unveiling the world’s first Windows Phone 8 powered smartphone, the South Korean tech giant announced the new Windows RT based Ativ Tab. This device instantly boots up without lagging and comes with Office Home and Student 2013 RT. Samsung Ativ Tab packs a 8200 mAh battery which allows you to complete your project on the go, without the hassle of charging it after every few hours.

Samsung Ativ Tab comes with a 10.1 inch HD LCD display, sporting a resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels, 1.5 GHz dual core processor, Windows RT Operating System, Windows UI, 5 megapixel auto-focus camera with LED flash, HD (720p) video recording, full HD (1080p) video playback, Wi-Fi Connectivity and more.

Other features include a 3.5 mm headset jack, NFC (Near Field Communication), 2 GB RAM, 32 GB/ 64 GB internal memory, MicroSD card slot, 64 GB expandable memory, Samsung Family Story, Samsung ChatOn, Music Hub, Samsung Zone, Windows Store, Microsoft Office, SkyDrive, S-GPS, Bluetooth 4.0, USB 2.0, Wi-Fi Direct, Micro HDMI and a 8200 mAh battery.

Samsung Ativ Tab measures – 265.8 x 168.1 x 8.9 mm and weighs 570 grams. As expected, Samsung has not announced the price and availability of this device for any of the markets. This tablet is expected to go on sale from October end or early November.

Tutorial: Navigating Windows 8

Windows 8 has been released to TechNet and MSDN subscribers. Microsoft has a lot riding on this newest operating system and it is certainly not the Windows you are used to. Today, I would like to show you around the new Windows 8, and point out some of the differences you should expect when this becomes the standard starting this fall.

start screen

Pictured above, is the “Start” screen in Windows 8. As you can tell it is a radical departure from the typical Windows you are accustomed to. Windows 8 is designed with the tablet in mind. That is why you see the brightly colored tiles on the main screen. The screen is designed to be easily usable on a tablet or touch screen computer. On the “Start” screen, Microsoft made some assumptions about the type of apps people commonly use.  Your not stuck with these “Tiles” as the start screen is fully customizable. In the upper right corner there is an icon where you can customize it to show your picture. Each corner of the screen has a purpose to help you navigate around. If you put your mouse in any corner it will show you a different menu. You may be accustomed to Windows having a little “Start” button in the lower left corner of the screen. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you can kiss that little guy goodbye. Instead of a “Start’ button, you get a start screen. That is the first and fundamental thing you need to grasp when dealing with Window 8.

Below, you can see where I zoomed in a little on the “Start” screen. One of the “Tiles” is labeled “Desktop”. If you click this tile it will put the computer in desktop mode. This is good news for those of you who are used to Windows XP.

Desktop Mode

In the image below, you can see what it looks like when you go into desktop mode. Notice what I I have highlighted. You’ll probably notice more what is missing. The old start menu button is gone!

No Start Menu

So how do you get around? Well, there are lots of ways to get around. I will try to show you a few of them. Microsoft introduced a new menu bar called the “Charm Bar” with Windows 8. You can see this pictured below. To get the “Charm Bar”, you position your mouse in the upper right corner of the screen and the bar will appear. There are several options on the “Charm Bar”. To answer a really big question I know you’re gonna have, if you want to see all your programs, click the “Search” charm on the “Charm Bar”. From the “Search” charm you will see a list of all your “apps” (programs are so 90’s). The “Share” charm can only be used in the “Start” screen mode. For instance, if you’re viewing a web page from the start screen, you can share it using the “Share” charm. The “Start” charm will take you to the “Start Screen” when you click it. The “Devices” charm is also not to be used in “Desktop” mode. It is supposed to be an easy way to send files to a printer or other device. The “Settings” charm is basically the control panel for the computer.

Charm Bar

If you position your mouse in the bottom left corner of the screen, you will get the “Start Screen” button, pictured below. This lets you toggle back and forth between the desktop and the “Start Screen”.

Start Button

Remember the old key combination of Alt + Tab? Well, that works for Windows 8 too, see picture below. It is actually a pretty easy way to go between things you have open.

Alt + Tab

Trying not to overload you here, I will let this be my last explanation for this tutorial. If you position your mouse in the upper left corner of the screen, you will see a small window representing an app window that you have open. If you leave your mouse hugging the left side of the screen and begin to move down, you will see a black bar with all the active apps listed. You can click the active app to go to it. You can right-click the active app and you can close it from there. A picture of what I describe can be seen below.

active app

This is just one of many tutorials to come. I hope you have enjoyed it and please feel free to ask any questions you have. As you can see, Windows 8 is radically different. I feel for all the IT organizations who are facing any kind of large scale deployment of Windows 8 because it is so different. Keep checking back with us as we continue to inform you of all the latest tips and tricks.

Dell Discusses Plans To Launch Windows 8 Tablets, Isn’t Worried About The Surface

When Microsoft announced the Surface, they didn’t just want to make a high-quality piece of hardware that’s intended to make Windows 8 shine. They also did so to push otherwise sloppy OEMs to step up their game and develop equal — if not better — devices that are both exceptional in quality and innovative. With the exception of Acer, OEMs have been largely positive about the Surface. Dell is joining Lenovo and HP in making generally neutral/positive comments about the device, while also stating during an investor’s call that they have plans to release Windows 8 devices of their own throughout the fourth quarter and into next year.

Here’s what Senior VP Brian Gladden had to say about it:

“As you think about Microsoft entering the space, clearly, as we think about it, we’ve spent time talking to Microsoft and understanding sort of how they’re thinking about it. There clearly are opportunities for us, as Windows 8 comes through, in having differentiated products. And I think at the same time they have announced the Surface product that would be in the space, we will have products in there, and I think you’ll see a diverse set of offerings that take advantage of what Windows 8 brings to market.”

As you can see, they’re generally neutral about the Surface, unlike Acer, whose executives have been pretty bitter and negative about the device in public statements. Here’s the tidbit in which Gladden mentions Dell’s plans to launch Windows 8 devices:

“You’ll see new Windows 8 ultrabooks, all-in-one tablets and converged devices in the fourth quarter and headed into next year.”

The form factors that he hints at in this comment are interesting. I’m curious to find out what the “converged” devices look like, and how they differ from the all-in-one tablets. Perhaps they’re Galaxy Note-esque devices, which lie somewhere in between a tablet and a phone?

Microsoft Opens Up Registration For Discounted Windows 8 Upgrade Price

Microsoft has announced that registration for that Windows 8 upgrade offer they announced in May has now opened up. Basically, if you purchased or will purchase a qualifying Windows 7 PC between June 2, 2012 and January 31, 2013, you can purchase an upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for the low cost of $14.99 USD, which you can redeem as soon as Windows 8 is generally available on October 26.

To get the $14.99 upgrade price, simply register on the Windows Upgrade Offer website after registering. Go through the wizard — while having the product key of the Windows 7 install that came with the PC handy — and you’re good. Then, starting on October 26, promo codes will be sent out via email with purchase instructions, where you can then redeem your Windows 8 license for the low cost of $14.99. During checkout, the price may still be listed as $39.99, but once you get to the order confirmation page, you will be able to enter in your promo code which will then drop the price accordingly.

You’ll have until February 28, 2013 to register.

It’s definitely not a bad deal, and it’s awesome to see Microsoft offering Windows 8 to consumers at such an affordable cost. So, unless you’re waiting for a Windows RT (or Windows 8 Pro) tablet, you don’t have to wait until general availability to purchase a new PC.

IDC: Microsoft to Make 3 Million Surface Tablets

As the launch date for the Microsoft Surface nears, speculation about the tablet, including its pricing and production has started. IDC has kicked off the race to guess the pricing and estimated production volumes. It expects Microsoft to build more than 3 million units of the Surface tablet in the initial run. It also thinks that Microsoft may launch a $199 version of the Surface RT tablet with a two year subscription, as well as a $599 version which can be bought outright.

The hypothetical $199 variant would come with a subscription bundle combining Microsoft’s Office, Music and Video offerings.

However, pricing the Surface at such a low price point might anger its other device partners who would have to price their products much higher to not lose money on device sales.

We’ll see more details about the Microsoft Surface in October, when it is launched along with Windows 8. While the device is really impressive, Microsoft may be too late to the party. However, if Microsoft is able to price the Surface RT tablet below the iPad and closer to the Google Nexus tablet, it might be able to wrest some tablet market share out of Google’s and Apple’s hands.

Also check out: The $199 Surface and Windows 8 RT OEMs

via CNET

Windows 8 Now Available for MSDN/Technet Subscribers

Earlier this month when Microsoft made Windows 8 available to hardware partners they announced 15th August would be when some end users can get their hands on the final version of Microsoft’s latest & greatest. MSDN and TechNet are two subscriptions offered by Microsoft with TechNet focused towards the IT crowd and MSDN targeted at developers. The subscriptions give enthusiasts and people vested in the Microsoft ecosystem early access to Microsoft at huge discounts.

Over the years TechNet & MSDN have become economical means of getting legal copies of Windows, (at one point subscribers had 10 keys with 5 activations). Unfortunately, Microsoft wasn’t too pleased since these keys could be resold. The ToS for MSDN/TechNet say the builds/keys can’t be used in a production environment legally and they have drastically reduced the number of keys available for a user. Anyhow, for enthusiasts, TechNet/MSDN are still the best bet to get early access to Microsoft products, legally.

Starting today, MSDN/TechNet subscribers can download Windows 8 and Windows 8 Enterprise:

We will share a first look in the coming days.

Lenovo Announces ThinkPad Tablet 2 Windows 8 Device, Doesn’t Mind The Surface

With Windows 8’s general availability pegged for October 26th, several OEMs —  Asus, HP, Fujitsu, Samsung, and others — have already announced their first tablet devices built just for Windows 8. And of course, Lenovo will also be throwing its hat into the ring. Today, the company announced their first Windows 8 tablet, the ThinkPad Tablet 2.

It packs a 10.1 inch multi-touch display (which can also handle pen/stylus input), measures in at 9.8 mm thin, and weighs less than 600 grams (1.3 pounds). Under the hood, the tablet is powered by a next-generation Intel Atom processor and will run Windows 8 Pro. Clearly, it’s targeted more towards professionals over the average consumer, and the price point will rightfully reflect that.

So, with that being said, how does Lenovo feel about the Surface? According to Acer — who previously urged Microsoft to “think twice” about making the device — the device will have a “huge negative impact” on the ecosystem. Dilip Bhatia, vice president and general manager of the ThinkPad business unit holds a different view altogether. He says that Lenovo isn’t worried about the Surface as it doesn’t step on the ThinkPad’s toes at all, and thinks that it’s a good thing that it is stirring up excitement around the Windows 8 tablet ecosystem as a whole:

“Microsoft is a strategic partner for us. The Surface has brought more excitement to the marketplace. The ThinkPad tablet is focused after the business individual; the Surface is more geared towards the consumer offering,” he said.

 The ThinkPad Tablet 2 will be available in late October.