Tips for an easier transition from Windows XP and Office 2003 to Windows 8.1 and Office 365

  • Published in OS news

Microsoft will end its support for Windows XP and Office 2003 on April 8th, so small businesses and consumers are upgrading to newer devices with updated technology. Microsoft's new operating system and productivity software – Windows 8.1 and Office 365, respectively – might look much sifferent for new users, but with a few simple tips the transition can be very easy.

First of all, you need to know about the Start screen: Start is where Windows 8 displays apps, contacts and more in an easy-to-navigate tile format, which can be organized by dragging and dropping the tiles into labeled groups. You can easily navigate back to Start from anywhere in Windows by swiping inward from the right edge of the touchscreen and tapping Start – or by pressing the Windows key on the keyboard. Also a shorcut to the Start screen is moving the mouse to the lower-left corner of the screen.

Another new feature is represented by the five "charms": Search, Share, Start, Devices and Settings - shortcuts to frequently used actions such as searching the Web and the hard drive, printing documents and emailing photos and links. These are available on the right side of the screen no matter where you are in Windows.


The desktop, though, looks familiar, and you can access it from anywhere in Windows 8 by tapping or clicking the Desktop tile on the Start screen, or pressing the Windows key + D on the keyboard.

For using Office 365, you need to know about the possibility of exploring Office 365 on the Web: All of the familiar Office apps that people already know and use – such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint – are accessible online through the Office Web Apps for no extra cost. Additionally, employees can access their email, calendars and contacts and use their team site to share and collaborate on documents from anywhere and on nearly any device.

Office 365 can be accessed to mobile devices, via Office Web Apps.

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