getting around Windows 8

Last Christmas Barbi regifted the Windows Surface RT that her company gave her for me.

So what do I think or like about this new offering from Microsoft?

My carry arround before this was an Acer NetBook upgraded to Windows 7 Pro and to its max of 2 GB RAM. This was a light weight unit connected to my domain that was easy to carry,  and I was able to load most programs that I used and most important, SharePoint designer 2010 and Metavis Information Manager which I use most every day. I had loaded Office 2010 and then upgraded to Office 2013 (Outlook included), Webmatrix, Visual Studio express, my copy of Interfacing BPMN modeler for Visio, Aris BPM, Camtasia, Magic Disk, Superscan, Xlite a voip phone to my voip PBX and a variety of other programs that I use for my work. This was /is a great tool. the limitation is the short battery life so you need to take the charger wherever you go, not so cool, but in a briefcase not so bad.

Now I carry the Surface wherever I go, battery life is great, lasts the whole day with my usage, and sometimes into the next day before needing to be plugged in. It came with Office 2013 home edition installed and a ton of apps that I do not use. Th biggest issue I have is that with the RT version I am limited to what can be installed, no SharePoint Designer, no Metavis, no BPMN software this limits what I am able to do in my day, now whenever I need to do actual work I need to RDP into one of my other machines that has the software installed. Being able to use the Keyboard and touchpad or mouse gives me the ability and flexibility to still do my work on a super light computer that is instantly on device. It helps to also be able to use the screen to be able to scroll up or down more easily.  I have its wireless card attached to Shaw Open, so wherever I go in Victoria, I hear all my mails popping in as it picks up a new Shaw wifi hot spot. Having the full keyboard helps to show the ful screen when typing and it adds almost nothing to the weight of the Surface.

Getting around on the Surface is cool, by using a keyboard to type and the touch to scroll around sure speeds things up. Using Windows 8 on a non touch laptop sure has its challenges, getting around is a bit more tricky. I have server 2012 on all of my servers both physical and virtual on a non touch monitor so this was a challenge when sitting at the console. Short cut keys help in this regard, but where do you find a list of them. Searching around I found this article by Ruth Morton on the Technet Blog, Shortcuts for Windows 8.

Moving between Metro and Desktop

<Windows> Brings up the Metro start screen. You can start typing to search for   an app, just like the Win7 start menu.
<Windows> + <B> Go to the Desktop from the Metro Start Screen
<Windows> + <D> Brings you to Windows desktop from the Metro Screen

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<Windows> + < . > snap right
<Windows> + <Shift> + < . > snap left

Switching between applications

<Windows> + <Tab> Opens the Metro application switcher menu, switches between   applications.
<Windows> + <J> Switches focus between snapped Metro applications.
<ALT> + <F4> Close an application
<Windows> + <R> To bring up the run window from the desktop, so you can type in an   application name to run

Semantic Zoom

<CTRL> + <+> Zoom in
<CTRL> + <-> Zoom out

or hold down <CTRL> and use Mouse Wheel to zoom in and out

Displaying App & Charms Bar

<Windows> + <C> Brings up the Charms menu, where you can search, share, and change   settings.
<Windows> + <Z> Opens the App Bar for the current Metro application.

All the other shortcuts I could find!

<Windows> + E – Launch Windows Explorer with Computer view displayed.
<Windows> + F – Brings up the Metro File search screen.
<Windows> + H – Opens the Metro Share panel.
<Windows> + I – Opens the Settings panel, where you can change settings for the current app, change volume, wireless networks, shut down, or adjust the brightness.
<Windows> + K – Opens the Devices panel (for connecting to a projector or some other device)
<Windows> + L – Lock PC and return to Lock screen.
<Windows> + M – Minimize all Windows on the desktop
<Windows> + O – Locks device orientation.
<Windows> + P – Choose between available displays.
<Windows> + Q – Brings up the Metro App Search screen.
<Windows> + R – Switch to the (classic) Windows desktop and display the Run box.
<Windows> + U – Switch to the (classic) Windows desktop and launch the Ease of Access Center.
<Windows> + V – Cycles through toasts.
<Windows> + W – Brings up the Metro Settings search screen.
<Windows> + X – Launch Start Menu.
<Windows> + Y – Temporarily peek at the desktop.
<Windows> + Page Up / Down – Moves tiles to the left / right.
<Windows> + , (comma) – Aero Peek at the desktop.

I sure hope that this information helps you as much as it helped me.