byKevin-GS10-31-201210:24 AM - edited 11-02-201210:30 AM
Windows 8 is the latest iteration of Microsoft’s operating system. Building on the Windows 7 framework and expanding it, users will first notice how different programs and features have been placed into apps. These apps can be navigated to within the home screen, in the form of Live tiles, which Windows Phone 7 users will quickly recognize. Programs, documents, files, and folders, can all be found using these tiles.
It was developed with touchscreens in mind, but that does not mean that the traditional keyboard and mouse have been set aside. Your mouse will now have greater control over your home screen and apps. Scrolling over different corners of your screen will provide different options, including the start menu (given a whole new look), settings, or a list of recently used apps. See more for yourself at Best Buy Windows 8 Central.
Here are some of the cool new features you can expect on a Windows 8 PC or Tablet.
Calendar,Mail, & Internet Explorer 10
With Internet Explorer 10, enjoy faster browsing, an easier interface, and a safer online experience than ever before. Windows Mail joined popular email accounts such as Gmail, Yahoo!, and Outlook all into one area for quick organization.
People + Messaging
Connect with the world! In Windows 8, you can effortlessly upload and share photos, websites, and more instantly with the people that matter most; and "Like" your favorite electronics retailer while you're at it
Access your data from almost anywhere! Using SkyDrive with your Microsoft Live Account allows you to store your documents, photos, and other important files and securely share them.
Windows 7 Application Compatibility
In addition to giving you access to the many great new apps available in the Windows Store, Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro still work with most of your favorite Windows 7 applications.
Windows Media Center
For a limited time with the purchase or upgrade o Windows 8 Pro, you can add on Windows Media Center at no additional cost. With Windows Media Center, you can play DVD's as well as watch and record live TV.
Qualified Purchases between June 6th, 2012 and January 31st, 2012
Customers who purchase a new Windows 7 PC (Home Basic, Home Premium, Professional, or Ultimate) between 6/2/2012 and 1/31/2013 are eligible to receive an upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for $14.99.
The last day to register for the Windows 8 Upgrade is 2/28/2013. The $14.99 price will purchase the downloadable version of Windows 8 Pro with an option to create your own installation media on DVD or USB media. If you would like to receive an installation DVD, additional fees will be assessed along with shipping and applicable taxes.
Be prepared to provide the following information when registering for the upgrade:
Date of Purchase for Windows 7 PC
Retailer of Purchase
PC Model #
Windows 7 Product Key (More information on finding the product key can be found below)
Valid form of payment (Visa and MasterCard accepted in all markets; AMEX, Discover, Diners Club, JCB and Pay Pal accepted in select markets)
After registering you will receive a confirmation e-mail with registration # after the request is validated by Microsoft. If a confirmation e-mail is not received, it may be due to eligibility being unable to be determined via the online process. In these situations, you should request additional assistance in providing proof of purchase via the Contact Support page.
Beginning 10/26/2012, registered customers will begin receiving an e-mail with a promotional code and instructions on how to purchase and download the upgrade software.
Additional Information can be found on the windowsupgradeoffer.com FAQs.
Locating a Product Key Code
The Microsoft Windows product key will be located on the Certificate of Authenticity (COA). Depending upon the manufacturer and style, this COA may be located in one of many possible locations. These include:
On the back (Desktop PCs)
On the bottom (Laptops)
On the laptop power supply
In the battery compartment (shut down your laptop before removing the battery to view this space.
Additional Upgrade Information
How long will the download take?
The total size of the upgrade is about 2GB. On an average broadband connection, this will take between 30 minutes and 2 hours. It can be substantially longer on a dial-up or slower connection. If you’re planning to upgrade a laptop, be sure to plug it in before you get started so you don’t run out of battery; it could take a while.
How long do I have to download the upgrade?
As long as you’ve registered, you will have access to download the upgrade until February 28th, 2013. You must purchase and register your PC by January, 31st, 2013 in order to be eligible for the upgrade.
What if I don’t have a home internet connection or my connection is too slow?
You will have the option of ordering a DVD instead of the download, but this will cost more in addition to any taxes and shipping fees.
Will my mouse/keyboard/gizmo/toaster work be compatible with Windows 8?
The answer is probably yes! Most peripherals like mice, keyboards, and printers have been standardized and Microsoft has worked to make sure that most older devices will work. For a definite answer, please check out the Windows Compatibility Center.
Will my data and apps get transferred?
Your data and most apps should come with from a Windows 7 PC as a part of the upgrade. Windows Upgrade Assistant is available to help you upgrade drivers and update apps to ensure that those that can transfer properly will. With this said, please, please, please back-up your data independently before you get started. Windows recommends it; we recommend it. More importantly, your family photos, epic mp3 collection, or senior thesis will thank you for it. If you need help backing up your data, let Geek Squad help.
Geek Squad and Windows 8
How can Geek Squad help me decide if Windows 8 is right for me?
Agents are standing by in hundreds of Best Buy stores to answer your technological questions to assist you in making an informed decision about the benefits of upgrading to Microsoft’s latest Operating System.
Can Geek Squad upgrade my computer to Windows 8?
Armed with manuals and energy drinks, you can have your compatible computer upgraded in no time by either bringing your suspect (computer) to our Geek Squad service counters in any of our Best Buy locations, or we can dispatch an Agent out to your home.
I'm a Geek Squad Tech Support (GSTS) member. How much does the upgrade cost?
Being a member of our GSTS includes many benefits including free installation of Windows 8! You will however still have to purchase the software upgrade, but the service itself won't cost you a dime.
I purchased a new laptop after July 8th, 2012 and signed up for Geek Squad Tech Support (GSTS). Do I have to purchase the upgrade?
No! Any qualifying laptop purchased after 07/08/12 that was bundled with GSTS will include an upgrade to Windows 8 at no additional cost. Just bring your computer back to your local Geek Squad precinct and we can get you up and running with the new system.
Windows 8 looks different from previous versions. Can you teach me how to get the most out of my new Operating System?
Upgrades can sometimes be confusing, but rest assured we've got you covered. Stop into your local Best Buy, go online, or call Mission Control at 1-800-GEEKSQUAD(433-5778) to have your friendly neighborhood Agent come out to your home for guidance on navigating the new Windows experience! 1/2 hour online trainings start online at $49.99; in home 1-hour trainings start around $149.99.
I'm a Reward Zone Premier Silver (RZPS) member. Can Geek Squad train me on my new system?
Absolutely! A great advantage of being a RZPS member is we can send an Agent out to your home to perform a variety of services once per year free of charge. To use your yearly service for Windows 8 instruction, just speak to a Geek Squad Agent to schedule your appointment.
I've just upgraded to Windows 8 but I'm having a few problems. What's going on?
When upgrading to the latest system Microsoft has done their due diligence to ensure that most hardware components will be compatible; but with all of the thousands of variables out there, it's next to impossible to predict which configurations will have issues. Find your Computer Manufacturer on the list below and check for the latest Windows 8 updates to resolve most issues.
HP Support & Drivers - Enter your model number to find the latest software and support for your upgrade to Windows 8.
Dell Support - Enter your service tag number located generally on the top for desktops and on the bottom for laptops. If you can't locate it, don't sweat, just use the option to "Automatically detect my Service Tag for me" and Dell will attempt to get your information from there.
eMachines - Use the list to determine if your model made before June 2nd 2012 requires various updates to get you up and running on Windows 8.
Samsung - Follow this link and check for a compatible model in order to upgrade to Windows 8. If compatible, use the website for up to date drivers and software.
Sony - Scroll down and follow the instructions to see if your computer is supported for Windows 8. If compatible, use the website for up to date drivers and software.
Lenovo - Choose your product for available driver downloads for Windows 8.
Asus - Select either Notebooks & Eee PC's, All-in-one PC's, Tablets, or Desktops & EeeBox PC's. Use this list to determine if your model is compatible with Windows 8.
I've lost the internet after upgrading to Windows 8 using an AMD processor. How can I get my internet back up and running?
Losing the internet is akin to losing the keys to your Porsche. You have all that power but can't go anywhere. The most common reason for this is missing the necessary drivers needed to run your Wired or Wireless Internet card. Follow the links above to check with your computer's manufacturer for the latest updates. They will be listed typically under Networking and labeled as "LAN" for wired connections and "WLAN" for wireless ones.
If after updating you still cannot access the internet, it's possible your card may not be supported. Check in with your local Best Buy to speak with a Geek Squad Agent about the best solution possible.
My screen got smaller after an upgrade to Windows 8 and I'm using an AMD video card. How can I fix it?
The first step to getting back out that glorious visual real estate is to check for the latest updates on your video card. You can do so by following the links below.
Not sure if your using a 32-Bit or 64-Bit system? Press the Windows Key (Between Ctrl & Alt at the bottom of your keyboard) and the R-Key (Between E & T) to bring up the run menu. Then type "MSinfo32.exe" without quotes and press enter. A new window will come up called System Information. Under System Type on the right you will see either on of the following:
x86-based PC (You have a 32-Bit version)
x64-based PC (You have a 64-Bit version)
Updating the software should allow you to see more information on the screen. If it doesn't work, you will need to increase your screen resolution. You can do this by following these steps:
Press the Windows Key & R key at the same time. Then type "desk.cpl" without quotes and press enter. The Screen Resolution will show up. Navigate to the Resolution and move the slider all the way to the top from 800 x600 (You may have a different number at the bottom than 800 x 600). Once done, click Apply. DO NOT click Ok first for any reason. After a few seconds, your screen will adjust and ask you if it looks ok. If it does, click on yes. If it doesn't, move the slider to a lower position and press Apply again to repeat.
Once everything looks alright (and only then) press the ok button to save the changes. If it's still not looking right, contact Microsoft, the Manufacturer, or Geek Squad for additional troubleshooting.
When trying to upgrade or install Windows 8 I'm receiving an error code that states "HAL_INITIALIZATION_FAILED". What's going on?
Don't panic, you're not reliving 2001: A Space Odyssey. The reason you are encountering this error is because one or more of your components inside the PC may not be compatible with Windows 8, so to prevent any possible harm Windows 8 is stopping the installation. Click here to download the Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant directly from Microsoft to check your computer to make sure it can be upgraded.
If the upgrade assistant informs you that you can't upgrade, there is an option that you can try to attempt to get past this. You will need to update your Motherboard's BIOS with the latest firmware. You can find the links to do so in the first section. If you don't know how to upgrade your BIOS, the best option is to have one of our Geek Squad Agents take a look at your system to see what can be done to get you upgraded.
My Anti-Virus that I subcribe to through Best Buy isn't working in Windows 8. How do I get the latest version?
Security is a top priority when running any computer, and while Windows 8 has new features designed to keep you safe, a good anti-virus goes hand in hand to keep your system secure. Use the links below to upgrade your AV to the latest version for increased security and Windows 8 support. Please note that you may be required to have your license key to complete the upgrade.
I can't seem to find the control panel or the option to shut down. Where are these located?
With the introduction of the new Windows Metro Desktop comes an easier way to access some of most commonly used features. The first thing you want to do is access the Charms bar. You can do this in one of two ways.
With a mouse: Move your mouse to the top right corner of the screen, then move it down.
With a Touchscreen: Swipe in from the right edge of the screen.
Once there, you're given the options of Search, Share, Start, Devices, and Settings. Choose Settings and a new list consisting of Desktop, Control Panel, Personalization, PC Info, and Help will appear. You can access the control panel to effortlessly change around system settings. Also, underneath the PC info and Help, there's the Power button. From there, you can shut the computer off, put it to sleep, or set it to hibernate.
How do I navigate through all of my Windows 8 applications?
With Windows 8 it's never been more simple to find any application or file. First, go to the Charms Bar (as outlined in section 7 above) and click on Search. Once there, you will see a listing in alphabetical order of all of your installed applications. Just click on any one of them to get them started. You can also use the Search by typing the name of what you are looking for, and Windows will attempt to instantly find it.
What can I do to make sure my application or hardware device will work with Windows 8?
Most of your programs and hardware from Windows 7 will run just fine when installed on Windows 8. To check to see if you application or hardware is compatible, follow the link below and type in the program's or hardware's name to see if it should work after upgrading.