Maximize your first 30 minutes with Windows 8

It's time for a primer on what to do, and where to go, during your first half-hour of Windows 8 operation.

By Loyd Case, PC World |  Windows, windows 8

The answer is to download and install the SkyDrive app. The SkyDrive desktop application adds a SkyDrive folder to your system and conveniently adds it to the Favorites list in the Windows file manager.

Microsoft supplies SkyDrive apps for Windows (Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8--but not Windows XP), Windows Phone, iOS, Android, and MacOS. So if you're using SkyDrive, you'll want to get the necessary apps.

App confusion

Before we look at the preinstalled apps, it's discussing for a moment what an app actually is.

Windows 8 now has the concept of two types of apps. One type is called Windows 8 apps. These are the apps you buy or download for free from the Microsoft Store--and only from the Microsoft Store. Most will have some cross-platform capability, so they'll also be available on Windows Phone 8 and Windows RT, Microsoft's tablet-only OS that runs on ARM processors.

The other type of app is what we normally think of when we think of software running on Windows--what Microsoft calls "desktop apps," though individual Microsoft folk have occasionally slipped up and called them "legacy apps." Desktop apps will be sold and serviced as they always have. You can get to them from the Microsoft Store, but you'll typically be taken to the publisher's website. You can buy them from retail outlets and install them that way. Other ways to buy them include various digital-downloads purveyers--from Amazon.com to Steam to direct from the developer.

So while the new Windows 8-style apps are curated and approved by Microsoft, similar to the way Apple handles iOS apps for the iPad and iPhone, traditional desktop software will still be available the way it has always been, and Microsoft doesn't approve or otherwise edit desktop applications.

Now let's take a quick look at preinstalled Windows 8 apps.

Quick look at preinstalled apps

Your Windows 8 desktop PC should be set up and ready to use, if not fully tweaked to your personal preferences yet. Now let's take a quick tour of some of the preinstalled Windows 8 apps. This is not a comprehensive list--just a quick overview of some key apps.

People

The People app aggregates contact lists from a number of services into one place. You can also get updates from your Twitter and Facebook feeds. You can respond to individual messages, but you can't post global updates to Facebook or Twitter.

 Mail

Mail has improved substantially since the Consumer Preview. Previously, I couldn't connect to my Yahoo mail account, but it now works with Yahoo mail, Gmail, and POP mail services.


Originally published on PC World |  Click here to read the original story.
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