Windows Secrets special issue on Windows 8

Well, it’s here. The most controversial version of Windows ever released is out in new PCs and as an upgrade.

We won’t predict the success or failure of Windows 8 (there is no shortage of tech pundits who have), but we will provide lots of helpful information on how to get started exploring the new OS.

Finding your way in a new computing environment

Undoubtedly, some of you are dismayed that we’ve devoted an entire issue to Windows 8. From the letters we’ve received, many of you have no plans to upgrade. Quite honestly, neither do we — not anytime soon, at least, on our production PCs. Putting the newsletter together is work enough without adding additional complexities. And for now, we’re quite happy figuring out and working with Windows 7.

But anyone who has a real interest in Windows — and we assume that’s most Windows Secrets readers — should take the time to play with Windows 8. Like it or not, it is the future of Windows computing.

Correction: We misread the fine print for the special Windows 8 pricing. The current U.S. $39.99 offer is for each license (as stated in the Win8 Terms and Condition page); not for five licenses as we incorrectly stated. Our apologies.

The good news is that setting up and exploring Windows 8 is relatively cheap and easy. You can buy each license for $40. The official site states that you can upgrade from XP, Vista, or Win7.

Being a bit short on working PCs at the moment, my Windows 8 test system is running as a virtual machine within Oracle’s free VirtualBox (site). It was easy to install and works great. Plus it has no effect on my working Windows 7 system. If you need help installing your own copy, read Fred Langa’s Top Story, “Step by step: How to safely test-drive Win8.”

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