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It’s been awhile since I have blogged about my Windows 8 experiences, sorry for that. It has been a very busy couple of months for me. Having now lived through several iterations of Windows 8, from Windows 8 Developer Edition to Windows 8 Consumer Preview, I can say that some of what I mentioned before is not the same in the RTM of Windows 8 Pro. Now that I have Windows 8 Pro and all my apps reinstalled I can get back on course. Note that an Upgrade from Windows 8 Consumer Preview to Windows 8 Pro will keep your files and settings, but it does not keep your installed apps.

Let’s back the truck up here to 8:45am October 26. I hear the squealing brakes of the FedEX truck out front of my house. Up the walkway comes the driver with two packages for the Pollard household. Whatever could it be? Well it appears that my darling wife Shawn had preordered the Microsoft Surface for me for my Birthday. For good measure she picked one up for herself. We unboxed them and have been playing ever since. I played all day with the charge that the Surface shipped with that was my first “OMG this is cool”.

Fast forward to 5:00pm on the 26th; after seeing how cool my Cyan touch cover was, Shawn wanted to pick up a Pink touch cover for her Surface. We headed to the Microsoft Store to pick one up. The place was crazy packed with people. We got the cover for Shawn. While in the store we noticed a Microsoft Rep giving a free class on the Surface. You would think a hardened IT guy of 30+ years would balk at being shown how to use a simple device. Not so, we sat down with the Rep. Now was I the best student? Ah, maybe not…

…but what we did learn was many of the tricks that make the Surface, Windows RT and Windows 8 so stinking easy. It’s the little things the whiners and haters will never learn because they know everything already. Oh, and the rep was handing out a cool book for all that attended.

Where am I going with all this? With the Surface (RT) in hand (monopolizing much of my computer time) and Fresh build of Window 8 Pro I will blog my findings interchangeably.

Personally I took a plethora of tips from the session with the Microsoft Rep, a few my fellow IT folk should engrain in their brain housing group should be:

Windows RT or Windows 8 Pro

  • Windows Key + X – Opens a fly-out menu where the Start button used to be. This fly-out has everything you need (Control Panel, Device Manager, Command Prompt etc.) to configure/troubleshoot a Windows 8 box.
  • Windows Key + D – Switches to Desktop Mode
  • Windows Key + C – Opens the Charms Menu

Microsoft Surface

  • Pin or Picture password – Set a Pin or Picture password for your device
  • Thumb Keyboard – When not using a touch or type cover set your keyboard to thumb keyboard. You hold the Surface like a book and do your typing with your thumbs. It is actually very fast and natural feeling.

I will blog about how to do many of the cool things but it is time to play.

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