Top positive review
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A clearly written introductory guide for novices new to Windows & for less confident upgraders from earlier versions of Windows
on 14 February 2014
’m fairly comfortable with Windows 7 but having heard that Windows 8 was a bit different, I got Windows 8.1 for Seniors at the same time as my new Windows 8 laptop. Windows 8.1 for Seniors is billed as being for novices and for those upgrading so it’s positioned as an introductory guide. I have to say first off, that you don’t NEED a book to start using Windows, but it’s often good to have a guidebook handy to dip into for reference, or bedtime reading!
First impressions of the book are good: at 240 pages, it’s not too thick, and is packed with screen shots, clearly written and clearly printed instructions and I especially like the ‘Hot Tips’ and ‘Don’t Forget’ items marked with little chillies (I love chillies) and elephants (not so sure about them!)
The book is structured into 13 sections including:
Get windows 8.1. By the time I’d skipped over ten pages of contents and other introductory material, I was wondering if I’d learn anything new fro this book, and then bang! I was hit by something new – Press WinKey + Break key to display the Windows System Properties. Now, that was a shortcut that I’d never heard of before, and it works in Windows 7 as well.
Windows 8.1 Interface: A good introduction to the Start Screen, Hot Spots and Charms, all I believe to be new features of Windows 8. This section also covers how to use apps and how to close down the system.
Windows 8.1 Desktop: This section covers how to control the desktop and the task bar. Also how to move and resize windows.
Windows Games: I was surprised to find so much (12 pages) about games you can get from the Microsoft Store. I can’t imagine many people bothering, but then we are all different.
Networking. Connecting to a wireless network is likely one of the first things a user will need to do, especially if you have a laptop and paradoxically this is buried in page 212.
Security and Maintenance: Here we get to look at how to get help, Windows Update and System Restore. I was surprised that there was no mention of third party antivirus tools, as the author preferred to focus on Windows Defender. Yes it’s built into Windows but it gets mixed feedback and some of the free alternatives tools such as Avast are reported as doing a better job.
Other sections cover how to personalize your system, search and organize, manage desktop applications, Windows Apps, email and calendar and introduction to using the Internet using Internet Explorer.
Overall, this book provides a clear introduction to Windows 8.1 for novices, but it’s not an essential read as once you’ve got access to the internet, you can Google your way to answers to almost any questions you may have. At the price, it’s probably a good buy for newcomers but once it’s served its purpose, after a short while, it won’t be needed again!