As I mentioned in my Part 1 blog post on my move to Windows 8, after the hardware and base Windows 8 build was completed, it was time to install my applications. I was able to jump to the application install at this point since I’d previously began the transition to the Windows 8 (a.k.a. Modern) UI and have gotten pretty comfortable with using the Windows button to switch back and forth between the desktop environment and the new Windows 8 Start Menu as well as moving the mouse to the corners of the screen to make the Windows 8 Charms appear. In the RTM version of Windows 8, the UI seems essentially the same as what I had become accustomed to in the Windows 8 Release Preview which was reassuring. While its only been a few months since I’ve been dabbling with Windows 8, I at least now feel comfortable with navigating the UI and getting work done.
As I went to my list of applications, I realized very quickly that a number of them were tied to online and/or cloud based environments (i.e. SkyDrive, Twitter, etc.), so I remembered that one of the first things I should do is to connect my domain account to my Microsoft (formerly known as Live ID or Passport) account. To do this, from the Windows 8 Start screen, you move your mouse into the bottom right hand corner of the screen and the Windows 8 Charm bar appears. You click the bottom charm (looks like a gear) which is Settings, and choose “Change PC Settings” from the bottom of menu that appears on the right hand side of the screen.
Once you’ve clicked Change PC Settings, the following menu appears:
Choose the Users Tab and enter your Domain account or Microsoft Account information (which ever you haven’t already entered) from the appropriate button in the “Your account” section. Connecting these two accounts in Windows 8 is like bringing your personal and professional life together on the same PC which has a magical quality to it when your Windows 8 Live Tiles start to light up with your personal information.
Once the dual account part was done, I installed the rest of my applications. The MSIT build of Windows 8 RTM came with Office 2010 SP1 as part of the image as well as the option to install the New Version of Microsoft Office (Word 2013, Outlook 2013, etc.) running alongside Office 2010, so I chose the two versions of Office option. I installed the rest of my applications and started to go to work.
I have a dual monitor setup at home and when I connected it to my newly-built Windows 8 machine, the monitor configuration was identical to how I had it setup in Windows 7 (right click on the Desktop, choose Screen Resolution), so that was straightforward to get it setup the way I had it when this machine had Windows 7 on it.
As I started to work (like writing this blog post) I started to use the Help Menu to further acquaint myself with some mouse and keyboard shortcuts, and I found the Windows 8 Help surprisingly quite useful (The MSIT Image appears to have the Release Preview Help still, I’ll be passing that feedback along…)
As I’m always looking for a way to get more Windows on the screen, I started to play with the Windows 8 snapped view to have two applications run on the same screen at the same time. While I love Twitter and the goodness of information that comes from it, I like to keep it in a smaller window to keep track of what’s going on, but not necessarily have it take my full attention. In Windows 7 I used the Twhirl app for Twitter for quite some time to do just that, but recently have moved over to MetroTwit. MetroTwit has an awesome Windows 8 app, so I installed it and have been using it, and best of all, it works well with the Windows 8 snapping functionality, so I can do just what I explained, keep Twitter (MetroTwit) on the screen, but with much less screen real estate.
Very cool! This is my current favorite Windows 8 feature! Well needless to say, I’ve been humming along with Windows 8 for a good while now, I hope this helps you on your Windows 8 journey.