HP teaches you Windows 8 because Microsoft won't

4 Sep 2012

If you've used Windows 8 and wondered how on earth to do the most basic tasks, you're far from alone. It took us weeks to work out we could unlock a PC with the Space bar, and accidentally right-clicking in the bottom-left corner of the screen was a real revelation -- try it and you'll see what we mean.

These are incredibly basic things Microsoft should have taught us from the beginning, but didn't. And with the final version of Windows -- at least the RTM we've used -- it still doesn't. The extent of the teaching is a single animation during installation, which simply shows you how to move your mouse to the corner of the screen - with no explanation of why or when to do so.

So it's both sad and entirely logical that third-parties educating users themselves. As reported by Windows Observer, HP has launched a free Getting Started with Windows 8 app in the Microsoft Store, which offers users text guides, video tutorials and links to forums and help pages.

Admittedly, right now it's mostly populated by Windows 7 tips, with a few even stretching back to XP, but we're still nearly two months from full public release. OEMs have until then to get their apps up to speed, and Store applications were opened up a few weeks ago for that reason.

Hopefully by the end of October, the HP app will be full of useful tips and tricks, such as how to get Metro to appear as little as possible, or how to find the Shut Down button, or why the hell there's no Start menu.

Despite what Microsoft says, those are the questions new users will have after five minutes with the OS. It's good to see a major manufacturer acknowledge that, even if Microsoft won't.

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