Windows 8 Step by Step Review: Solid Book for Beginners

By Lowell Heddings on December 5th, 2012

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You might be surprised to see us reviewing a Windows 8 book, especially considering we recently launched our own book, The How-To Geek Guide to Windows 8 – but since we don’t (yet) have a paperback version, we may as well give you another option.

Note: we are indeed working on a paperback version of our book, but it’ll probably be a month before it’s available. Plus, the Step-by-Step book is written by Ciprian Rusen, a personal friend of mine, and it’s published by none other than Microsoft Press.

The Book

We’re not going to go into great detail, since we find book reviews to be quite boring, but there’s a few points that we’d like to talk about concerning this book, both the good and the bad.

The good

  • Great for Beginners: If you’re a beginner, this is definitely a solid book for you. They cover things like the Start Screen, personalizing, the built-in apps, basic networking, multimedia, family safety, and more. Anything that is new in Windows 8 is covered thoroughly.
  • Step by Step Instructions: Just like the title implies, this is the one book out there (other than ours) that really takes care to go through everything in steps with pictures, but still have lots of coverage.
  • Fairly Inexpensive: The paperback version of this book is currently just $19.79 in the Amazon US store, and considering the book is 784 pages long, that’s a good deal. The Kindle version is priced at $14 – less of a bargain.
  • Table of Contents is Easy to Understand: The table of contents is laid out in a very easy to understand way – each section of each chapter is about how to solve a problem or how to do something. So if you want to know how to connect your Facebook account to the People app, it’s right there in the table of contents.
  • Good Coverage: Nearly everything new to Windows 8 is covered in this book. Don’t be fooled by other books that say they will give you “secrets” because there’s almost nothing that they cover that isn’t also covered in this book. Or our book, for that matter.

The bad

  • Touch Gestures Covered in the Appendix: Given the fact that Windows 8 is so focused on the new Touch-friendly interface, we were surprised that you have to flip to the Appendix to actually see coverage of the new touch gestures. We suspect that many people will be using Windows 8 for the first time on a touch-enabled device, so we’d think it would have been right up front and center. Note: the touch gestures are covered within the text of the book, just not illustrated until the end.
  • Typos: We don’t have a lot of room to talk here, since the first version of our book also had typos in it, but just be prepared if you’re the type of person to get upset about some typos.
  • Confusing Intro: When you open the book, it’s to a section called “Introducing Windows 8”. Then you flip a bunch of pages further and the first chapter is also called “Introducing Windows 8” – in the table of contents, they are both listed, but each one contains something different and you really need to read both. It’s a little confusing.

Bottom line

  • If you want a paperback book that covers Windows 8 the way How-To Geek does, and you don’t want to wait a month or more for our book to come out in paperback, this is a solid choice.

You can get the book through this Amazon link – and you should also check out the “Click to Look Inside” section so you can see the table of contents and part of the first chapter. You can also look in your local bookstore if you want, hopefully it’ll be there.

Windows 8 Step by Step [Paperback] on Amazon.com

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 12/5/12
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