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I hope that you had a chance to download the Windows 8 Consumer Preview.  One of the things that you will absolutely want to do is watch Jensen’s video as a video walk-through of Windows 8 features, focusing on working with the operating system as a user, introducing the gestures and things you want to know about.  It is a great, short video and you should definitely watch it:

As an avid keyboard user (and one without a touch device currently) I rely on the ‘desktop’ use of my Windows installation.  In addition to those things that Jensen mentions in his video, here’s a list of some helpful keyboard shortcuts…

Shortcut Action
Windows key + spacebar Toggles between input languages and keyboard layout
Windows key + , Peeks at the desktop
Windows key + Enter Starts Narrator
Windows Key + PgUp Moves full screen window (i.e., the new Metro UI) to the monitor on the left in multi-mon situations.
Windows Key + PgDn Moves full screen to the right
Windows Key + Shift + .
Windows Key + .
Snaps application and/or moves the snapped app to left/right
Windows Key + c Opens charms bar
Windows Key + i Opens Settings
Windows Key + k Opens Devices charm
Windows Key + h Opens Share charm
Windows Key + q Opens Search charm
Windows Key + w Opens Settings search
Windows Key + f Opens Files search
Windows Key + z Toggle AppBar

These have been helpful for me to work through these new experiences quickly.  Hope this helps!

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution By license.

2/29/2012 8:51 PM | # re: Windows 8 for keyboard users
I can't get Win + . for Win + Shift + . to work for snapping applications. I'm not sure which mouse movements I need to make to snap applications.

I've got to say this about Windows 8 so far - I want to like it, but I've been very frustrated trying to figure out how to do things.

I did stumble upon the Windows + , shortcut which shows you your desktop. Not that that is very useful. ;-)
3/1/2012 1:43 AM | # re: Windows 8 for keyboard users
Win + X also opens some kind of usefull context menu.
3/1/2012 2:32 PM | # re: Windows 8 for keyboard users
W8 just dont get me warm. I did see some nice ideas on the vid but the tiles thing doesnt work on a pc like on a phone. One size fits all? I dont think so.

3/1/2012 4:24 PM | # re: Windows 8 for keyboard users
@Matt - what resolution is your screen? you must have a *minimum* 1366x768 to enable snapping.
3/1/2012 8:45 PM | # re: Windows 8 for keyboard users
Hi Tim, Would you happen to know about silverlight support in windows 8 or plug in for IE10 browser? We already have some investment in Silverlight but we are just not sure if we should continue with Silverlight or not.

3/2/2012 12:54 AM | # re: Windows 8 for keyboard users
What a load of rubbish

WHY do I want my appoinments to be shown on the Secured screen, what about privacy issues?

Sure it looks gloriuosly cute to have all these apps share things, but what about using it for productivity?

Until the Metro screen goes away and a start MENU system is returned, WIN 8 will be a larger albatros than Vista ever was!
3/2/2012 3:51 AM | # re: Windows 8 for keyboard users
Looking at some of the comments, it seems that people who use operating systems other than Windows will find it much easier to migrate than Windows users - hmmm interesting. This obsession with the start menu for example ?
3/2/2012 4:44 AM | # re: Windows 8 for keyboard users
@PeterHolgate "WHY do I want my appointments to be shown on the Secured screen, what about privacy issues?" If you don't like them there, they can be turned off by editing your Metro settings. (Click on your account in the Metro UI).

As for all the negative comments.... sorry folks, this is the future. Personally I've found it better to not fight each revision. Sure, Vista was a bomb, but we got XP and 7... those are good OS's. If you didn't take the jump to vista, you were probably a little lost in 7 when it came out.

The new OS debate can be neatly divided in to two camps: Those who like change and those who don't.
3/2/2012 6:20 AM | # re: Windows 8 for keyboard users
Win8 looks promising for touch-based systems but is confusing for traditional Windows users. I think the Win8 setup procedure should allow the user to choose the Metro or tradiontal UI and should default to the latter if the system doesn't have a touch device. Of course, that will raise the question about what Win8 has to offer other than Metro. I do not yet know the answer.
3/2/2012 9:34 AM | # re: Windows 8 for keyboard users
Win8 - D.O.A
3/2/2012 9:48 AM | # re: Windows 8 for keyboard users
@PeterHolgate -- YOU are in control of your lock screen and what shows up there.
3/2/2012 1:08 PM | # re: Windows 8 for keyboard users
Mike's the only commenter who gets it. People who scream it's crap and that they're not gonna buy MS anymore really have high opinions of themselves. If you don't like it, don't use it. Complaining in comments on blogs isn't helping anyone, it only serves to make you look like an opinionated numpty.
3/2/2012 2:23 PM | # re: Windows 8 for keyboard users
Great article and video. The video was a real eye-opener that shows Win8 hasn't forgotten about non-touch devices. I have Win8 running in a VM on a server, and with the change of a couple of registry keys I can run it via Remote Desktop.

In addition to the keys listed above, I have found that Alt-tab and Windows-Tab both work for cycling through running apps. Alt-tab shows them in the familiar center of the screen presentation. Windows-tab cycles trhough them in the Win8 sidebar (I can't remeber the proper term) on the left of the screen.
3/2/2012 4:35 PM | # re: Windows 8 for keyboard users
See, this is where I seriously worry about Windows 8. I need it to be a huge massive success. NEED it. I don't want to go back to coding java, and I sure as hell don't want to do objective C.

To put it simply, Microsoft needs to do a metric ton of polish on the way 8 works with desktops, because of one simple truth:


They pedantically navigate to the fiiiiillleeee => oppppeen, ffiiiiind my documeeennnt durrdurrdurr. If the UI doesn't spell something out for them blatantly, they'll have no clue it exists (See the ribbon, awesome context driven UI, but I'm still getting questions about "where's the file menu?!"). 70% of users couldn't tell you what that wierd button with the "microsoft logo" is.

I love metro, I love the app panel concept, but they really need to do something to make it more obvious where metro ends and where the standard desktop begins (see start screen vs apps screen). That begins with making it obvious, in the ui, how to do everything in the shortcut commands. I'll use the hell out of them, and have done so in the consumer preview, but I'm legitimately worried about that one issue derailing all the beautiful platform integration work they've done.
3/2/2012 7:47 PM | # re: Windows 8 for keyboard users
Windows 8 complaints are not about liking or disliking change. It's about disliking bad design, poor useability, bad use of limited screen real estate, almost no thought to security or to use in a business environment, and poor integration between tablet and desktop versions -- which is what Windows 8 has shown so far. If this is "re-imagining Windows", MS needs a better imagination.
3/2/2012 11:34 PM | # re: Windows 8 for keyboard users
Who cares about Windows 8's pathetic excuse for a UI? MS lost it with Vista, tried to recover with Win7, and fails with Win8.
3/5/2012 10:30 AM | # re: Windows 8 for keyboard users
Wtf is "Windows key" ? My 80's IBM's Model M keyboard has no such thing!


Every programmer should have one of this. I've worked on Windows environment in the last 20 years and I've not feel the need of "Windows key"...so far.

I've noticed that this keyboard improves my performace [as a programmer :)] at least by 20% Does anyone thing that windows 8 will give me such improve ?!?

Well that is my dilema, to change the keyboard or not to change...

I think I'll stuck on my beloved keyboard, not because I think that windows 8 is the next "Windows Me" (Oh I miss you sou Windows Me) but only because I love my keyboard so much.
3/5/2012 10:40 AM | # re: Windows 8 for keyboard users
Here are a few other shortcut keys.

Win+X - Opens Quick Access Menu (Right click in bottom left corner)

Win+PrntScr - Automatically saves screenshot in Pictures folder

Win+Tab - Shows Metro apps switcher (move mouse to top left corner)
3/6/2012 12:23 AM | # re: Windows 8 for keyboard users
The very fact that these keyboard shortcuts are _NEEDED_ shows how poorly designed Windows 8 is for keyboard/mouse users.

For some reason, MS now seems unable to learn from its mistakes. Every device that has a Metro-style interface has failed miserably: Zune is dead and WinPhone has a 1% market share. In response, MS seems determined to jam Metro down users' throats whether we like it or not. But I suspect that it will be Microsoft that gets choked. I can't think of anything that will motivate more people to move to Apple.

By the way, I would love to have a better Windows UI. But Win8 ain't it.
3/6/2012 7:57 PM | # re: Windows 8 for keyboard users
A couple of questions:
- We have desktops with 2 and 3 monitors. Where are the "edges" touted as being so user friendly in Win8 -- way over on the right side of the 3rd monitor??

- All of those active panels in the Metro UI are running services - sucking up memory and CPU cycles, causing processor cache refreshes, disk IO, etc. The last thing I want when I'm doing serious video editing is to have some irrelevant pop-up about some tweet or Facebook garbage, and I'm already maxing out my Intel i7 CPU and GPU doing my real work. So how do you turn all that crap off so we can get real work done??

More Win8 BAD DESIGN! And a poor fit for business use.

Please add 8 and 3 and type the answer here:


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