Getting started with Windows 8

Today, we will depart from what might be our more typical conversations around sales and marketing improvements and CRM solutions to show you how the Metro interface in Windows 8 works. Microsoft Dynamics CRM will soon be released in a Metro style interface so it’s time to consider what that means for those of that need to get used to using the new interface.

While many of you are still using Windows 7 and aren’t quite sure of why you should upgrade to Windows 8, I will hopefully will convince you why should be using Window 8!

Like anything new it just a takes a little while to get the hang of it.  The intent of change is to deliver an improvement and the short pain of learning a new interface is heavily outweighed by great new features of Windows 8.

Four Corners for Non-Touch  

Start Corner

Start button has been common a place to start windows programs for quite some time.   In Windows 8 start functionality has been revised with a newer expanded start screen.  The start button has been replaced with a little image on the lower left corner of the screen, which, when clicked displays the Metro desktop with live tiles.  Live tiles are program shortcuts but also display key information which is regularly updated without any clicks.  An example of this is the Finance App.   Here’s an example the finance app with listing of the Microsoft stock.

Finance App

Back Corner (Upper Left Corner)

All running metro apps can accessed easily by dragging the mouse to the upper left corner of the screen.  Just clicking the mouse there will bring up the most recent program.  The list of all metro apps can be seen by clicking on the upper corner of the screen and dragging the mouse down an inch or so.  This action is a little tricky as first and you might find it a bit difficult like I did.  Apparently this is little easier with touch screen.

Charms Corner

Charms are definitely one of the best features of Windows 8.  Charms allow for consistent functionality across all metro apps.  Common tasks like searching, sharing, settings can all be done by bringing up the charms menu.  Next, we’ll walk through some of the common ways of using the charms in the context of Microsoft Dynamics CRM.


Search charm is probably the most commonly used charm available on Windows 8.  The charm can be launched by going to charms and clicking on Search.  In this example, we’ll search Dynamics CRM.   Once a search keyword has been entered, the search charm can be used to apply that keyword as a search criteria across all metros apps.  In this example, I will search for Dynamics CRM in the Windows Store App.

Search function in Windows 8

Here is the result of searching for Dynamics CRM in the Windows store.


User can now scroll down to any of the other metro apply the same search.  Next I’ll try the mail app.  You’ll see that search has been applied to the mail app and from all of my mail boxes the following messages have been flagged for Dynamics CRM.


Search also can be applied to the any browser search engine like Google or Bing.

Search Results

It’s time to get used to the new world of tiles and Metro.

A few resources to help:

Windows 8 in 8 minutes by

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