Windows 8.1: Out of the Box, 2nd Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Released: October 2013
Pages: 174

Get a real feel for Windows 8.1 with a wealth of tips in this step-by-step guide. After using Windows 7 or XP, learning Microsoft’s latest operating system takes some adjustment. Never fear. Windows expert Mike Halsey starts with the basics and then takes you through the trickier parts of Microsoft’s latest operating system. You’ll quickly learn how to make the most of Windows 8 for work and entertainment, whether you use a touchscreen tablet, a laptop, or a PC with a keyboard and mouse.

  • Easily navigate the intuitive Windows 8.1 interface
  • Use email and the Internet—and keep your family safe
  • Share files online or with other devices in your home
  • Download and use all kinds of of apps and programs
  • Watch movies and listen to music
  • Import, view, and edit your own photos and videos
  • Learn how to use extra hardware and older software
  • Get expert tips to keep your computer running smoothly
  • Discover cool stuff that makes computer use really easy
Table of Contents
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About the Author
Recommended for You
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oreillyWindows 8.1: Out of the Box, 2nd Edition
 
4.5

(based on 2 reviews)

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5.0

Good reference for me

By Tom

from Bainbridge Island WA

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Accurate
  • Concise
  • Easy to understand
  • Helpful examples
  • Well-written

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Intermediate
    • Novice
    • Student

    Comments about oreilly Windows 8.1: Out of the Box, 2nd Edition:

    Needed a reliable reference in plain English for a clean install of 8.1 on a new build. A VERY occasional operation for me. Was particularly interested in separating files from OS as a primary use would be photo editing (lots of read/write) and I wanted to isolate the SSD installed OS from that activity.Have used this author in the past and found him clear and to the point. Not disappointed.

     
    4.0

    Probably the only 8.1 box you will need

    By HowardAbraham

    from Rochester, MN

    About Me Developer

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Accurate
    • Concise
    • Easy to understand

    Cons

    • No Low-level Information

    Best Uses

    • Intermediate
    • Novice
    • Student

    Comments about oreilly Windows 8.1: Out of the Box, 2nd Edition:

    Microsoft Windows has evolved and matured over time, but Windows 8.1 is nothing short of a paradigm shift in both design and use. Even experienced users might feel disoriented at first. I have been using Windows since version 3.0 and consider myself a power user, if not an expert. I began using Windows 8.0 during the first public beta and I had to either figure things out on my own or cobble together usage information based on word-of-mouth or a lucky website hit. Windows 8.1 has been released and while usability has been improved, it is still a radical departure from Windows 7. Maybe you have purchased a new computer and feel confused by the new environment. Maybe you are a Windows 7 expert and just need a few pointers to get you over the hump. Maybe you love Windows 8.1 but just want to make sure you are getting the most out of your device. No matter which type of user you are, "Windows 8.1: Out of the Box" by Mike Halsey is for you.

    (Before I go further I will say there is one type of user who won't get much out of this book. If you are the type of user who wants to write scripts, schedule tasks, partition your hard drives, or do anything low-level, this is not the book you seek. This book is intended for general operations and consumption.)

    "Windows 8.1: Out of the Box" is a short book. You can read it cover-to-cover, but don't feel like you must. The book is written in such a way that you can quickly skip from topic-to-topic without feeling like you are missing something. That being said, if you are completely new to Windows 8.1, I suggest reading chapter one before reading anything else. It covers the themes and navigation that are common to the entire experience. After that, skip around at will. For the purpose of this review, I read it from start to finish.

    Mike Halsey presents Windows 8.1 is the same way a user might discover it. Chapter 1 tells you how to get around in Windows 8.1. Chapter 2 helps you connect email and get on the internet. Chapter 3 helps you pull photos, music, and video from other devices in your home and also share that content to your XBOX. Chapter 4 discusses the new Windows app store. Chapter 5 shows you how to consume videos and music. Chapter 6 explores viewing and editing photographs and videos.

    After that, Halsey writes about more advanced topics, such as customizing the Windows look and feel, attaching printers and multiple monitors, and maximizing battery life for portable devices.
    But my favorite chapters came at the end, and they were my favorite because I learned the most new information from these chapters. Chapter 11 deals with safe computing. Chapter 12 reveals all the integrated utilities to back-up your data, make recovery drives, and using system restore. And Chapter 13 is fun as well, with the Read Later utility a hidden gem that was new to me.

    At a mere $9.99 MSRP, "Windows 8.1: Out of the Box" is a book that lets you choose the approach to learning. If you want to gently glide into Windows 8.1, this book is for you. If you are a Windows 7 power user and just can't figure out how to do simple tasks because things aren't where they used to be, this book will quickly get you back to the task at hand. It's a perfect Windows companion, whether you're using a tablet, laptop, or desktop. For 90% of Windows 8.1 users, this is the only computer book you are likely to need.

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