Product Added : March 13th, 2013
Category : Software
"This Best Selling Windows 8 Professional System Builder DVD 64-Bit Tends to SELL OUT VERY FAST! If this is a MUST HAVE product, be sure to Order Now to avoid disappointment!"
Windows 8 Professional System Builder is for pre-installation on a new personal computer or installation on a computer that is not currently running Windows 7, Vista, or XP. This product is not an upgrade and does not provide solutions to help you keep personal settings or files as the product is installed. Windows 8 Professional System Builder DVD 64-Bit can be installed on personal computers with a 64 bit capable processor. With Windows 8 Pro, you can connect and share your files. Windows 8 Pro also adds enhanced features if you need to connect to company networks, access remote files, encrypt sensitive data, and other more advanced tasks.
The new Windows 8 start screen is your personalized home for items you use the most and can be customized according to your user preferences. Windows 8 Live tiles provide real-time updates from your Facebook, Twitter, and e-mail accounts. Along with the new Start screen, the lock screen now includes e-mail, calendar, and clock widgets.
To access your PC, Microsoft has replaced a standard PIN or password with a swipe gesture; unlock your PC by clicking or swiping preset locations you’ve selected on the lock screen. New functions also allow you to search for your favorite software programs, open, close, hide, resize, or run multiple apps simultaneously with the swipe of a finger or a swipe of the mouse.
Windows has also made changes to make your PC more secure by boosting its existing security features and adding "SmartScreen," which acts to prevent suspicious programs or apps from being installed or running on your machine. Finally, Windows 8 also gives you the ability to "refresh" itself to give users a new starting point and a cleaner version of Windows.
System Requirements 1 GHz processor 2 GB RAM 20 GB available hard disk space 1366 × 768 screen resolution DirectX 9 graphics processor with WDDM driver
Additional Requirements to Use Certain Features Internet access (fees may apply) For touchscreen, you need a tablet or a monitor that supports multi-touch Microsoft account required for some features Watching DVDs requires separate playback software Windows Media Center license sold separately To access the Windows Store and to download and run apps, you need an active Internet connection and a screen resolution of at least 1024 x 768 To snap apps, you need a screen resolution of at least 1366 x 768
One great thing about Windows 8 is that it standardizes the user interface across computers, tablets, and other devices. For businesses that combine desktop and laptop computers with handheld tablets and other mobile devices, having such standardization should make folks’ jobs easier.
The user-interface of Windows 8 is so different that most ordinary folks will have difficulty mastering it without help. A great many functions of Windows 8 are not at all obvious or intuitive. Unless folks get help of some kind, I forecast storms of great aggravation and anger (perhaps even some violent temper tantrums resulting in equipment damage). Nearly everything you want to do in Windows 8 is hidden until you learn the secrets (even simple things like signing-in or shutting down your computer). Do yourself a favor: get some instruction before you try to use Windows 8, even if that instruction is nothing more than watching videos on a popular video website.
But be of good cheer! One can become pretty good at using Windows 8 very, very quickly. I think most folks, could learn the basics in under 60 minutes with the help of a grandchild (your own or borrowed) who knows the secrets. You could probably become an expert with just four hours of focused, hands-on training led by a professional I.T. trainer. Therefore, I suppose the best way to learn Windows 8 is to work for a large corporation with a wonderful training department and patient I.T. professionals who staff a help desk. If you do not work for such a large corporation, then do yourself a favor and buy a Windows 8 book.
Windows 8 Secrets by Paul Thurrott and Rafael Rivera was very helpful to me. Windows 8 can be extremely frustrating if you do not know the secrets (i.e., there are NO CLUES what to do, because all of the menus are hidden). However, you will NOT be frustrated if you have a person or a book to show you the secrets; after a day or so, your Windows experience will become so automated (like driving a car) you won’t even think about it.
If you do not like to read, there are some pretty good Windows 8 instruction videos on a popular video website. Such video training is often better than a book, because you can see the computer response along with a running narrative.
By the way, the “Desktop” is still there. If you hate the new Start Screen (as most folks seem to), you don’t have to use it; simply use the Desktop instead (just like you did in previous versions of Windows). After you have setup your Desktop, Toolbars and System Tray (just like you did in previous versions of Windows), your computer will be quick and easy to use. Any of your applications that run under Windows 7 should also run under Windows 8.
While I shall not clutter this review with specific information about Windows 8, I will tell you the most useful Windows 8 “secret” (for me): Memorize and use the “Windows Key” (Winkey) keyboard shortcuts! (The Winkey is the key on the bottom row with a depiction the Microsoft flag; my Winkey is just to the right of the CTRL key.) For example, if you hold down the Winkey and press C, the “Charms” bar will be displayed. The “Charms” bar is perhaps the most important interface in Windows 8. If you learn the Winkey keyboard shortcuts first thing, you will be able to get most things done in Windows 8 right away!
Here are a few of the more helpful Winkey keyboard shortcuts:
Winkey: toggles between Start Menu and last app
Winkey + D: opens Desktop
Winkey + C: opens “Charms” bar
Winkey + E: opens file explorer
Winkey + F: searches for files
Winkey + I: opens the Settings charm (to shut down your computer, for example)
Winkey + Z: opens “app bar” (the menu user interface that is normally hidden when interacting with a Windows 8 app)
Winkey + X: opens the “power user” menu (which includes programs and features, power options, event viewer, system, device manager, disk management, computer management, command prompt, task manager, control panel, file explorer, search, run)
Update (12/13/2012): After several weeks of use, I am really happy that I loaded Windows 8 on my new (home-built) computer instead of Windows 7. Windows 8 is faster and more stable than the Windows 7 that is running on another machine that I use daily. Windows 8 loaded very quickly (20 minutes for a “clean install”) and all of the drivers worked without any problems. On my dual-monitor system, I have the Desktop app on the center monitor and the Start Screen on the side monitor. Thanks to two Windows 8 books, I have been learning about “Metro-style” apps and the new world of the Start Screen (look at youtube videos if you don’t know what that is). I have been loading apps from the Windows Store and customizing the Start Screen after learning how to add (pin), delete (unpin), resize, move, and group “tiles.” I think that most home users (who only need casual web access) will eventually abandon the Desktop entirely in favor of the “Metro-style” apps on the Start Screen. For myself, I prefer the old familiar Desktop for work software. Therefore, I implemented a task through the Task Scheduler to switch directly to the Desktop app on each boot. As I stated in my original review, Windows 8 is very easy with the help of an instruction book; it would have been a royal pain without such a book.
Update (12/25/2012): I also found it helpful to add the following icons to my Windows 8 desktop app: Computer (formerly “My Computer”), Control Panel, and Network. To do this, right click on any clear area of the desktop and select the Personalize option. In the left pane of the Personalize window, click Change desktop icons. Tick the boxes for the icons you want displayed on the desktop (Computer, Control Panel, Recycle Bin, User’s Files, Network). Click the Apply button.
Update (5/25/2013): I just finished reading the book Windows 8 Inside Out. While the Windows 8 Secrets book provided great training back when I was completely new to Windows 8 (and just about to load it on my new computer), Windows 8 Inside Out has more information and a better table of contents, thus making it the better choice for my desk reference.
Obviously the start menu switching its focus to apps and the fact that Windows 8 boots directly to this screen rather than the desktop is what makes Windows 8, Windows 8, rather than “Windows 7 service pack 2″. The live tiles for apps have potential as major apps are released but most of the live tile content on the default apps is as distracting as it is informative and I find myself turning off the live content in favor of a simple tile. Besides the apps all of the launchers to newly installed programs end up here in generic colored and titled tiles with the desktop icon in the center. Right click or swipe up from the bottom on a touchscreen to access the full list of app and program tiles you can add to your start screen.
At launch the Windows appstore app simply titled “Store” in the tiles lacks most major apps that would truly make the whole start menu tiles worth looking at. Popular music players, official email account apps, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, video players, Amazon content apps, Google content apps, Steam, Origin, weather services,maps, etc. etc. are all currently nowhere to be found (outside of the Microsoft branded iterations so until these things start popping up the appstore is but a curiosity and the apps that are available now are hardly worth using over accessing the same content from a desktop browser. It will all come eventually but this is windows 8 we’re talking about here, the OS that all new PCs ship with, for those not proficient with computers in the first place the underwhelming app store is going to be a big turn-off. Developers have had access to the final app creation platform for months and months prior to 8′s launch so that lack of major apps found on Apple and Android appstores is simply the result of how incredibly hesitant bigwig companies are of Windows 8, their reluctance to jump on board from the getgo has caused this major platform to appear as a ship taking on water and appearing as if it may well sink. Once all the big holes in the appstore are plugged we will finally see Windows 8′s potential set sail but that may take awhile it seems. Until then you’ll be wearing out the “desktop” tile on your way to the content you want.
By clicking and dragging from the top of the desktop screen or app you may move it to the right or left side of the screen and snap it into a smaller side-panel for viewing and managing content whilst running something else in the larger portion of the screen. You can grab another app or the desktop by putting your mouse in the left hot corner and moving down or swiping in from the left on a touchscreen. this is a great feature for use with social apps and media players especially so that you always have simultaneous access to relevant content and features.
Accessed from the right hot corners or by swiping in from the right is the charms menu. the universal search bar as well as settings and social sharing of content are the main things to be found there. Under “change PC settings” found on the bottom of the settings charm list you can select windows customizations including lock screen types as well as start menu background and color scheme, universal app settings, and microsoft account sync settings. The biggest con to the charms menu is that the often-used power, sleep, shutdown, and restart buttons take far longer to access than ever before on a Windows OS, to do so now requires moving mouse to right hot corner > moving mouse up along the edge of the screen to fully display the charms > clicking settings > clicking “power” > clicking shut down or whatnot. With a mouse this is a 5 step process, with a touchscreen 4 as the full charms menu is displayed by a quick in-from-the-edge swipe. On previous iterations of Windows shut down was accomplished with 2 clicks or the full list of power options in 3. This is honestly my biggest gripe with Windows 8, these very necessary functions are just plain annoying to access when needed using the default method. With a tablet or laptop you have physical buttons to put the device to sleep but for desktop PCs it’s a real pain.
Windows Explorer Ribbon UI:
The ribbon interface on all “windows explorer” file folders seems unnecessary for mouse and keyboard use, yes all of the different actions are there in large buttons for easy access but some additional actions require you to switch ribbon tabs making a simple right click on the file and selecting your option from there quicker and easier, I just can’t justify selecting a folder or file then moving my mouse to a large action icon when I can just right click and left click off of the traditional menu that is right there. The ribbon UI first reared it’s head in “Windows Live Essentials” applications that were made available for download near Windows 7 launch.
On a touchscreen the ribbon UI makes actions easier as right clicking accomplished by pressing and holding becomes the slower method and the larger buttons make accidentally choosing the wrong action with your fat fingers unlikely.
Task manager has received a makeover with new ways of displaying the same old information, one notable addition is the startup tab where you can disable programs that by default launch with windows, the same could previously only be accessed in windows by “msconfig”. Having those options in task manager makes good sense and makes it easier to make such changes.
Windows 8 truly was designed specifically for touchscreens and the fact is if you don’t have one some of the new gestures and start screen menus are a bit of a pain to access with a mouse. If you don’t read a guide to windows 8 features you will experience those fun times where you know what you want to do but just can’t figure out what gesture or action you must take to get there most notably in start menu app and tile navigation. Everything feels like an Android or Apple app from a tablet experience however certain settings, menus or controls aren’t always located in a simple logical manner and frankly the generic app settings are cumbersome and time consuming to get at without either memorizing the hotkeys or spending time swiping, then tapping, then getting to the settings rather than a simple, always accessible, small settings button that is always right there at your fingertips like I’m used to on Android tablets.
Windows 8 is very precise about the touch enabled screens received signals from the user, very small icons and settings are generally easy to hit exactly what you intended and there is virtually no delay between start screen, app, and desktop navigation thanks to the higher-end hardware and ample RAM that windows 8 devices contain.
I expect that touchscreen capabilities will be the next standardized upgrade since the desktop monitor market has been at a standstill ever since thin LED backlit displays have become as cheap as CFL backlit LCDs once were. Resolutions have been the same for years, OLED panels are still too expensive, and 4K hasn’t quite hit yet, so touchscreen capabilities are the next logical standardized feature. As desktop monitors with capacitive touchscreens become affordable the general populace will finally begin to see the benefits that touch navigation and gestures truly can provide. Windows 8′s touchscreen oriented design isn’t a gimmick but it is a gamble in the desktop market. Microsoft is counting on strong growth in the touchscreen tablet/ultrabook sector, it remains to be seen if their gamble will pay off in the short term or if this will just serve as the spark that makes manufacturers start bringing touch capabilities into their displays of all types. It may be that the market won’t be saturated with touch display options until Windows 9 comes around to receive glowing reviews at a time when the technology that windows 8 is encouraging now finally becomes affordable and commonplace.
Windows 8 functions quite well in traditional extended mode far better than windows 7. Now backgrounds can span (properly) across multiple monitors, different backgrounds can be displayed on different screens, and taskbars can be enabled or disabled independently on each screen. Windows 7 extended mode felt like “attack of the clones” (pun) as every screen displayed the same background which was especially annoying when screens had different resolution. Also Windows 8 properly detects and enables extended mode on graphics cards capable of even more than 2 display outputs.
Nvidia Surround / AMD Eyefinity:
For those with NVidia 2D/3D surround or AMD eyefinity 3 screen software-created single resolution setups many apps including the windows store do not display correctly at such resolutions. Many apps aren’t designed to query the display resolution and scale accordingly and therefore cut off content that cannot even be viewed when scrolling, other games and the like attempt to scale unsuccessfully to the full resolution rather than sticking to the center screen resulting in an unusable aspect ratio. I’m not sure if Microsoft or Nvidia will fix this but Windows 8 has been available for a long while to developers so there isn’t really any excuse for this problem to remain at launch. If the issue must be fixed by Microsoft then it may be a long time in coming as they are likely deaf to power users with such capabilities. NVidia/AMD on the other hand would have to restrain the entire app screen to a single display with desktop showing on the others.
So how different is Windows 8 really? Windows gadgets are gone, the start menu is now a list of square and rectangular tiles, a few smaller UIs received a makeover to make the same commands accessible in a different way, Aero glass is gone in favor of solid window borders, and smooth scroll is utilized for both touchscreens and touchpads alike. Honestly these changes are roughly the full extent of the meddling Microsoft did going from Vista to 7. Most of what was in Vista ever since SP1 is in Windows 7 and now 8. However 8 provides the most jarring changes simply by making its app start menu and hot corners unavoidable. Windows 8 requires you to retrain your brain as much as the transition from XP to Vista. Vista was widely hated yet all it did was reorganize where and how things were done which is why windows 8 has similarly received negative press and user reviews. Yes, it is different, yes we humans get flustered and bang our keyboards when something that we are used to working a certain way changes too much, but honestly everything is still there, and yes certain things take longer to get at just as other things are now easier. By the time Windows 9 comes out with minor changes just like 7 was to Vista it will likely be hailed as a solid OS simply because by then all of these navigational changes will be understood by us and the appstore will have been long-since established and filled to the brim with great content. Happy is he who takes the time to learn how to use the new rather than cry and swear at it.
There certainly are reasons to hate Windows 8 if you are so inclined to react that way when you find your cheese has been moved to a new location but in the end this is still the same windows OS that we’ve had since 2007 with a shuffled deck and a new set of tiles on top. Is Windows 8 for you? For the tablet, laptop, and ultrabook there are definite advantages with the app start screen. It’s all about streamlined accessibility to content when you boil it all down. As long as you take the time to google the quirks on Windows 8′s navigation you will likely find the focus on apps and app snapping useful and timesaving. Other than that it’s just same ol’ windows, love it or hate it.
TIPS & TRICKS:
SKIP LOCKSCREEN AND MICROSOFT ACCOUNT LOGIN: When you associate a Microsoft account to Windows 8 you are forced to go through the lock screen and Microsoft account password login screen every time you turn on your PC. On mobile devices this makes good sense (pins and picture passwords can alternately be used) but for home desktops this extra step can be an unnecessary annoyance. If you wish to disable the mandatory lock screen and password go to the start screen > type “netplwiz” without the quotation marks > the command for netplwiz appears in the search results in the left pane, click that command > in the User Accounts window that appears select the account you wish to use to log in automatically > uncheck the box that says “Users must enter a user name and password to use this computer.” > Click OK. > Enter your password to confirm it. > Click OK. > Windows now bypasses the lock screen and the log-in screen taking you directly to the Start Menu tiles.
RE-ENABLE WINDOWS GADGETS PLATFORM: do a google search for “8gadgetpack” download and install. This adds the directory that was available in Vista, 7, and even the consumer preview edition of 8.
SHUTDOWN MENU HOTKEY: alt+F4 brings up an alternate shutdown menu from the desktop rather than the charms menu. Just make sure to (left click) select the desktop before pressing that key combination or it will close out whatever browser or window you were last using instead.
GENERAL WINDOWS 8 HOTKEYS:
Charms Bar: windows+c
Settings Charm: windows+i
Cycle Running Apps: windows+tab
Now I agree that some people have hard time when they first look at Windows 8 interface and get confused. But trust me, it takes only half an hour to get used to the new interface and then you will love it. I love the idea of having applications to do your daily stuff. No more going to the Browser and looking for weather or news or stocks or emails… “There’s an app for that”(I hope apple doesn’t sue me for using their quote. ) And whenever you need to, you also have all your legacy programs working just as they were before. Still at any point if you feel that you are still not comfortable, you can download one application called START8 from StarDock. It is free to try and $4.99 to buy. That application will give you your start menu back if you choose not to let go of old style interface. I have been using Windows 8 from the day it came out. The stability of the OS is amazing. Just keep an open mind and within very short time you will start loving the new interface. The new interface in my opinion is futuristic and very easy to navigate through once you get hang of it. Think of live tiles as the nice arrangement of clunky “Desktop Shortcuts” you are used to created for programs.
One last thing, I am a SAS Programmer by profession. And I also have Masters Degree in Electrical Engineering. So I have really good knowledge of Computers and I have all sorts of computers at my place running Linux, Mac OS X and Windows. I am not an IT Professional, so I do not have much knowledge about the inside parts of Windows 8 like SQL and all technical stuff. But for a Small Business and Home User Windows 8 will work perfectly on any kind of device. TRUST ME YOU DO NOT NEED TOUCH SCREEN IN ORDER TO ENJOY WINDOWS 8. It is just as intuitive with Keyboard and Mice as Touch Screen…