Latest Windows 8.1 Build Adds Much-needed Tutorials

Posted on August 12, 2013 12:16 PM by Rob Williams

Though I’ve been using Windows 8 since its launch last fall, I’ve remained critical of Microsoft for doing little to help those who adopt the OS make the most of the Start screen. While the company might believe that the Start screen is intuitive, I’ve learned from experience that it’s not. The fact that Microsoft didn’t bundle in a simple tutorial left me confused. Despite it not even being its OS, ASUS bundled a tutor app with its notebooks that I considered to be awesome.

After installing the Preview for Windows 8.1, one of the first things I noticed in the Start screen was an icon (ahem, tile) for “Help & Tips”. It became clear that Microsoft was no longer ignorant of its oversight, and was planning to right its wrongs in this major update. There’s nothing to see in the Preview, however, but those who have access to the latest build (read: developers) can check it out.

Windows 8.1 Start Screen

According to The Verge, the latest build includes videos that teaches users how to navigate the OS, access files and tackle other basic functions. It seems that not only the Start screen is being tackled here, which would be a good thing. I’ll reserve judgement on how effective Microsoft’s Help & Tips is until 8.1 final ships (could be in the month ahead to the public).

8.1 updates a bunch of other things from what was seen in the Preview as well, including parallax scrolling for the wallpapers, a new sidebar, updated Mail, Calendar and People apps, Skype built-in (it’s about time), and more. I admit that I didn’t expect much to change since the 8.1 Preview, but it seems Microsoft has been hard at work to prove me and others wrong. I’m looking forward to it dropping, especially since I’m in bad need of a fresh format.

  • Donald Duvall

    Are you a child?? There are dozens of free tutorials in the Windows Store… and there have been from the beginning.

    • Rob Williams

      People should expect to have to hit up the store in order to find a tutorial? That’s logic I can’t side with. I hopped in there and searched around for tutorials, and all I could find was one that costs $14.99, and of course, it’s not from Microsoft.

      There’s no excuse for Microsoft not bundling tutorials with its OS… none.

      • Donald Duvall

        If that’s all you could find in the way of a tutorial, you probably shouldn’t attempt anything on a computer that might have serious repercussions. :)

        My search of the store returned 93 results. On the first page alone, 14 of them were free.

        • Rob Williams

          I checked out a comment you made to PCMag a couple of weeks ago:

          “Heh… Tech writers have the foresight and attention span of three-year-olds. Bring back XP? lmfao.”

          Excuse me if I can’t take you too seriously. Also, you may want to lay off the “child” comments… it could get redundant.

          • Donald Duvall

            Nice to know I have a following…. and that your little “article” is just another confirmation of my conclusion. :)

          • Rob Williams

            Pro-Tip: You can click on someone’s name here and see their posting history.

            Geez, I’d have given you a tutorial but thought it was common-sense…

          • Donald Duvall

            Like I said, glad to see you’re interested. Good luck with your blog… and if you need any more help trying to figure out Win8, just drop me a line. :)

          • e550mercedes

            No offence, but Rob makes a hell-of-a-lot more sense than your comments which seem a little childish to say the least.

    • Jamie Fletcher

      So it’s up to third-parties and OEMs, releasing guides and tutorials in a store that the vast majority of users won’t use, to tell you how to use a brand new product, released by one of the biggest software developers in the world?

      Did the thought occur to you that you need to know how to use the OS in order to get and use the tutorials in the first place? If this was someone’s first computer (and quite likely is), and this is their first experience, what does that say about the quality of the product? Releasing something and expecting the population to instinctively know how to use it?

      One of the first things people were doing with the OS was using another computer to search online to figure out how to turn the computer off! I’m sorry, but if a product requires a third-party to tell you how to use it, then it’s badly designed, sloppy and lazy. It’s what, taken Microsoft a year to release this?

      • Donald Duvall

        Of course not. There’s been a tutorial on the Microsoft site from day one.

  • e550mercedes

    Even though I think Windows 7, OS X, and Linux are more productive when it comes to actually getting things done than with W8, I rather like Windows 8. Unfortunately, for no known reason my live weather tile stopped working the other. I did a refresh which brought it back, but unfortunately when it did it apparently, somehow, also killed the sound which I couldn’t get back without reinstalling the whole thing over again, which to say the least was totally frustrating.

    Even OS X has built in help, including videos and this is something Microsoft should have done from the get go. Like you, I’m in a bad need for a fresh format so hurry up Apple and bring out OS X Mavericks, I’m getting bored!

Recent Tech News
Recent Site Content