Windows 8 Secrets: the Brand New Control Panel

Microsoft has created a new Control Panel for Windows 8 users

We’re two weeks away from the public launch of Windows 8 and early adopters still struggle to find out all features bundled into the new operating system.

Microsoft however is apparently working on an advertising campaign which not only will promote the new product, but will also teach consumers how to use the new Windows 8 features.

Among the new things available in Windows 8, there’s also a brand new Control Panel that provides access to a bunch of different settings available exclusively to users of this operating system.

Before we start talking about the “new” Control Panel, it’s worth mentioning that the traditional Control Panel still exists and provides access to a wider range of options. The fresh menu however is specifically created to let users configure the new Windows 8 tools.

Leaving the “Personalize” menu aside because we’ve already described it here, the “Users” screen gives users the power to set up their Windows account. You can sign in either with a Microsoft or a local account, with several authentication options: a typical password, a picture password and a PIN.

Windows 8 comes with a notification center, so the “Notifications” screen is exactly what you need to set it up. You can configure the apps to show notifications, enable sounds and messages on the lock screen.

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Windows 8 comes with a completely new notification center, so users are recommended to configure the apps they wish to use notifications. Searching is clearly one of the main features of the new operating system, so a dedicated configuration screen in this regard is a must-have. The “Search” section allows you to show the apps you search most often at the top, let Windows save searches for further suggestions, search history in Windows and choose which apps to search.

Sharing is caring and is also a very helpful Windows 8 option, so have a look at this particular screen to choose the apps you wish to use when sharing content. “Mail”, “People” and “SkyDrive” are by default included in the list.

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The built-in seach tool is pretty important in the new operating system, so you are even allowed to choose which apps to search. The “General” tab allows users to choose their timezone, adjust for daylight saving time automatically, enable app switching and spelling, pick the language and view available storage on the Windows drive.

Privacy” is very likely to be a very popular screen because it enables users to let apps access their location, user their names and account pictures or allow Windows Store to send URLs for the web content used by installed apps.

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Picking the apps you'd like to use when sharing content is quite important if you wish to share pictures and other multimedia files with friends and family. All options are pretty intuitive and require just basic computer knowledge.

While the “Devices” screen shows every installed device on your computer, the “Ease of Access” section comes with options concerning the high contrast, notification time and cursor thickness.

Setting up “Synchronization” is extremely important in case you are using the same account on multiple Windows 8 computers. You are allowed to sync colors, backgrounds, lock screen and account pictures, themes, passwords, language preferences, app settings, browser settings and mouse modifications. All these options are enabled by default, so make sure you have a look in here too.

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Synchronization helps users sync data such as desktop backgrounds, settings, Ease of Access options and browser history. Last but not least, there’s a dedicated “Windows Update” screen that requires only minimum user input. It’s however a very important section because it helps you keep your computer up to date with the latest patches released by Microsoft, so don’t forget to hit the “Check for updates now” button every once in a while.

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