Windows 8 Consumer Preview (aka beta version) has just been released. This prerelease version of Windows 8 focuses on people and apps and gives you powerful new ways to use social technologies to connect with the people who are important to you. It's Windows reimagined. Windows 8 Consumer Preview is built on the rock-solid foundation of Windows 7 and has the security and reliability features you expect from Windows, but we’ve made it even better. It’s fast, and it’s made to work on a variety of form factors—especially the new generation of touch devices.

One dramatic change Microsoft has introduced in Windows 8 is the Metro style user interface, a reimagining user experience of Windows. The new Metro user interface has been carefully designed and built and therefore very intuitive to new and experienced Windows users. However, the change also requires users, myself included, to learn or re-learn new ways of working with applications and the Windows environment in general, from some basic tasks of turning your PC or tablets or slates off to resetting your device to default settings without losing apps and user data and settings.

To help users quickly ramp up their experience of working with Windows 8 and find shortcuts of getting things done, I will start this “Windows 8 Consumer Preview Power User How To Series” or “Win8 HowTo“ for short or Twitter hash tag “#Win8HowTo”. To avoid reinventing the wheel, I will try to find useful info on a how-to topic from the Internet or other sources, add my comments if necessary, and share it here. I will certainly create some how-tos to share my own experience here. If you want to share your how-tos, please let me know. I will make sure I cross-reference yours in my blog.

Note: I am running Windows 8 Consumer Preview on two different devices, Acer’s ASPIRE 1420P (touch-enabled tablet) and HP’s EliteBook 2530p (standard notebook without touch support).

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Windows 8 How-To Posts

Windows 8 How To: 1. Switch Between Metro UI and Desktop Mode
Windows 8 How To: 2. Switch Between Apps or Snap Apps
Windows 8 How To: 3. How to Power Off Your Device
Windows 8 How To: 4. Show and Access the Control Panel
Windows 8 How To: 5. Show and Access Administrative Tools
Windows 8 How To: 6. Show All Apps
Windows 8 How To: 7. Switch Between Windows Accounts and Local Accounts
Windows 8 How To: 8. Set up a Picture Password
Windows 8 How To: 9. Set Up a Printer
Windows 8 How To: 10. Customize Metro UI – App Tiles and Groups
Windows 8 How To: 11. Install Language Packs for Multilingual Support
Windows 8 How To: 12. Show and Use “Run” Command
Windows 8 How To: 13. Show and Use cmd Prompt (DOS Mode)
Windows 8 How To: 14. Show and Use PowerShell
Windows 8 How To: 15. Show and Use Desktop Applications
Windows 8 How To: 16. Install .NET 3.5 and Windows Live Essentials
Windows 8 How To: 17. Add New Tab or New InPrivate Tab in Metro Style IE Browser
Windows 8 How To: 18. Configure WiFi Connection and Airplane Mode
Windows 8 How To: 19. Show Hidden Files, Folders and Drives
Windows 8 How To: 20. How to Start Windows 8 in Safe Mode
Windows 8 How To: 21. Install and Uninstall Metro Style Apps
Windows 8 How To: 22. Enable or Disable Sharing Between PCs Using HomeGroup
Windows 8 How To: 23. Find and Use Windows Help and Support
Windows 8 How To: 24. Show and Configure Free Anti-Virus App (Windows Defender)
Windows 8 How To: 25. Show and Enable Split Touch Keyboard (On-Screen)
Windows 8 How To: 26. Set up Remote Desktop Connection
Windows 8 How To: 27. Backup your Files Using File History
Windows 8 How To: 28. Restore Files Using File History
Windows 8 How To: 29. Restore System to a Previous State Using Restore Point
Windows 8 How To: 30. Restore your Device using Refresh and Reset

Windows 8 Developer How To Series

If you are a developer, you can check out the developer series here. The first one is My First Windows 8 Metro Style App.

Update on 3/20: Thanks to my colleague Frank La Vigne who mentioned that Mary-Jo Foley talked about the How To series at last week’s Windows Weekly (#252). Check the video below at the 84:08 mark.