Inside Track: Windows 8: A New (and Improved?) Operating System:

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    Windows 8: A New (and Improved?) Operating System

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    Feb. 6, 2013 – “Windows 8 represents a radical departure from any operating system you have used previously, with the exception of Windows Phone 7 or 8,” says Nerino Petro, State Bar practice management advisor. “The Start button is no more, there is a new Start Screen with a totally new look than the traditional desktop in Windows 7. Even shutting down the system is done in a totally different way.”

    In this video, Petro discusses some of the significant changes in Windows 8.

    • Start Button Is Out and Tiles Are InThe most significant change for many users will be the removal of the Start button from the lower left-hand corner of the screen. The Start button is not truly gone; it has just been updated to the Start screen that displays tiles rather than the list you are used to seeing. Unfortunately, tiles take up more room than do text links on the old Start button, so you may have to scroll left or right to find the tile you are looking for. However, the tiles are not just icons; they can convey information to you when click on them.

    • Charms BarThe new Charms bar provides easy access to buttons for Search, Share, Start, Devices, and Settings. Accessing the Charms bar is as simple as dragging your finger from the right side to the left side of the screen on a touch-screen device or moving your mouse into the upper or lower right-hand screen corner and then moving your mouse pointer either up or down.

    • Plainer LookWindows 8 uses a less graphically intensive appearance by eliminating the almost Aero Glass effects of Windows 7, including translucent borders and transparency, that allow you to see the program underneath the open window.

    Upgrade Now?

    Petro says that while Windows 8 does not contain any enhancements that, by themselves, justify an upgrade, consider purchasing the system if you are buying a new notebook or tablet device or a replacement computer for personal use. People whose computers are running Windows 7 and who are not replacing computers do not need to upgrade now. However, as time passes, getting a computer with Windows 7 installed by default will become more difficult, especially for laptops. Understanding how to navigate Windows 8 is helpful, whether you are an early adopter or a person who will not upgrade until your computer dies.

    Petro will present several programs, including one on Windows 8, at the 2013 ABA TECHSHOW, April 4 – 6, in Chicago. The first 10 State Bar of Wisconsin members to register for all three days are eligible for the Super Pass discount rate of $500. You do not have to be members of the same firm. To be eligible for the Super Pass discount, do not register directly at the ABA TECHSHOW website. Contact State Bar Administrative Coordinator Emily Johnson by Feb. 13 at (608) 250-6098, or (800) 444-9404, ext. 6098.

    To learn how to navigate the new system, read “Windows 8: A New (and Improved?) Operating System” in the February Wisconsin Lawyer magazine.