Windows 8 Step by Step
Author(s): Ciprian Adrian Rusen, Joli Ballew
Published: 2012, pages: 784
Print ISBN: 978-0-7356-6402-9 | ISBN 10:0-7356-6402-1
EBook ISBN: 978-0-7356-6965-9 | ISBN 10:0-7356-6965-1
Publisher (more . . .): Microsoft Press available via O'Reilly
Reviewed: October, 2012
Reviewer: Howard J. Cohen
O'Reilly sells this book both in paper and electronic formats. The electronic formats include PDF, ePub and Mobi. The website provides suggestions as to which version to use on various devices. I did the review using the PDF version of the book.
On October 26th, 2012 Windows 8 became generally available and the first computers using this new operating system are now delivered. For anyone contemplating upgrading to Windows 8 on an old computer or getting Windows 8 on a new computer, this is an excellent book. Extremely well organized the authors take the logical steps a new user should take to understand and get proficient in using this new Operating System. I would have given it five stars, save for the fact that the PDF electronic version of the book does not have "live links" for navigating to references, such as "See chapter `xyz' for more information" isn't a link to the chapter.
The book takes the reader through explanations of what Windows 8 is, what the differences are in each version, how it varies from Windows 7, etc. The authors then go into the setup and personalization of the operating system. Each step is very well illustrated with every chapter having a "Chapter at a Glance Page" and figures throughout each chapter. Thus you have a good idea of what each chapter will be discussing before delving into the chapter itself.
Each "Step" increases your familiarity with Windows 8 and the Practice Exercises reinforce what the chapter topics are demonstrating. Some Exercises require Practice Files that are available on the O'Reilly website. Many exercises do not require downloaded files. All exercises are logical, informative, and reinforce what the authors are trying to teach. In every case where both Keyboard/Mouse and Touch Screen apply, they are presented and explained. All multiple ways to do something are presented. At the end of each exercise "Clean Up" instructions are given.
Unlike other Operating System "How To" Books, this book goes beyond the basics and covers such topics a Sky Drive, using Internet Explorer 10 (both the "app" version and the desktop version), Microsoft Market Place, etc. It covers each included "app" such as social apps (Email, Messaging, People, etc.) and multimedia apps (Pictures, Media Player etc.). In depth instruction is provided for connecting to a network and trouble shooting. In addition the book discusses safeguarding your computer with Anti-Virus software, firewalls, etc. Chapters are devoted to setting up the computer for additional users and safe guarding children. It talks about the many different types of users for the operating system and gives tips and help for all to get the most out of this new system.
The glossary is extremely informative and the appendixes cover three important topics:
1. Keyboard Shortcuts and Touch gestures
2. Enhancements and using Multiple Displays
3. A complete installation and upgrading guide
Kudos to Caprian Adrian, one of the authors for going over the book on O'Reilly and posting errata even before the official release.
This is a book that I can highly recommend both as a "How To" and a future reference guide. As near I can tell there are no pitfalls from late changes to the operating system. I use the RTM Windows 8 Pro version and everything worked exactly as presented in the book. The reader should use it as the title recommends "Step by Step." : "Originally published by the Denver Visual Studio User Group at [...]."