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Windows 8.1 – All You Wanted To Know (4) - Miracast

Miracast is a peer-to-peer wireless screencasting standard formed via Wi-Fi direct connections in a manner similar to Bluetooth. It enables wireless delivery of audio and video to or from desktops, tablets, mobile phones, and other devices. It allows users to, for example, echo display from a phone or tablet onto a TV, share a laptop screen with the conference room projector in real-time, and watch live programs from a home cable box on a tablet. Both the sending and receiving devices must support Miracast for the technology to work. However, to stream music and movies to a device, such as a TV, that does not support Miracast, adapters are available that plug into HDMI or USB ports.

The protocol uses a direct Wi-Fi connection between the two devices without involvement of a wireless router and cannot be used to stream to a router access point. It was created by the Wi-Fi Alliance.

With this new wireless display technology, you can project from your Windows 8.1 or Windows 8.1 RT device to a Miracast-enabled TV, projector, or streaming media player, in just a few clicks. You can use this to share what you're doing on your device, present a slide show in a meeting, or even stream your favourite movie on a larger screen at home. The new Windows and Miracast help you work the way you want to.

To add a wireless display to your PC:

Open the Devices charm. Tap or click Project and then Add a Wireless Display. Choose the wireless display in the list of devices found, and follow the instructions on the screen.

To project your screen to a wireless display:

Open the Devices charm. Tap or click Project and then select the wireless display you want.

Miracast works with supported Windows 8.1 devices and Miracast-enabled displays. If a TV or projector doesn't currently have Miracast support, you can easily use a Miracast receiver, like the ActionTec ScreenBeam Pro or Netgear Push2TV (PTV3000) to enable your display to use this technology.

Windows 8.1 – All You Wanted To Know (3) – Use your Keyboard

​Windows 8.1 in your system but no touchscreen? Don't despair. Here is a lot you can do with your keyboard…You can use the keyboard to get to places fast when you use the following keyboard shortcuts

Win + DToggle to Display and Hide the desktop
Win + XAccess the Quick link menu
Win + EAccess the File Explorer (earlier known as Windows explorer)
Ctrl + Shift + EscAccess the Task manager
Win + X + Down arrowOpen Mobility center
Win + Start typingSearch for a file, device or app
Win + Down arrowClose a Modern App
Win + TabSwitch between recently used app and the desktop
Alt + TabSwitch between all apps – including desktop apps
Win + Shift + TabCycle through recently used apps (except desktop apps) in reverse order
Win + PChoose a presentation display mode
Win + SpacebarSwitch input language and Keyboard layout
Ctrl + T (In IE 11)Open a new Tab in IE 11
Ctrl + tab (In IE 11)Switch between tabs in IE 11
Ctrl + Scroll wheelZoom in or out to better view things like the apps pinned to the Start screen


Windows 8.1 – All You Wanted To Know (1)

With the new Windows 8.1, you have everything you need to work efficiently. Your familiar desktop is better than ever with advanced functionalities, like the new Task Manager and streamlined file management. Internet Explorer 11 gives you instant and fluid access to the world. And best of all, you can use all these features feeling confident that your important data is secure.

Whether you are collaborating on a large project, preparing for an upcoming conference, or traveling for work, you can use touch, mouse, and keyboard together—seamlessly—to accomplish your every task.

With the advanced features of Windows 8.1, you can get the most out of your device. Windows works the way you want it to.

You can use a Mouse as well to work in Windows 8.1. So, it is not essential that you would need a touchenabled device to run Windows 8.1.

Here is a quick table on what you can do using Touch and its equivalent for Mouse

ActionMouseTouch
Access the Quick Link menu Right-click the Start button. Press and hold the Start button.

Pin application to taskbar.

 

Open the Search charm, and enter the name of the app you want to pin in the search box. In the search results, right-click the desired app and then click Pin to taskbar.Open the Search charm, and enter the name of the app you want to pin in the search box. In the search results, press and hold the desired app and then tap Pin to taskbar.

Open Task Manager.

 

Right-click the Start button, and select Task Manager.Press and hold the Start button, and select Task Manager from the Quick Link menu. Tap More details to see detailed information.

Open Mobility Center.

 

Right-click the Start button, and select Mobility Center.Press and hold the Start button, and select Mobility Center.

Open a new tab in Internet Explorer 11.

 

In IE 11, right-click anywhere on the screen to bring up the tabs, and then click the New tab button.In Internet Explorer 11, swipe up from the bottom of the screen to bring up the tabs, and then tap the New tab button.

Switch between tabs in Internet Explorer 11.

 

In IE 11, right-click anywhere on the screen to bring up the tabs. Now you can switch between your open tabs.In Internet Explorer 11, swipe up from the bottom of the screen to bring up the tabs. Now you can switch between your open tabs.

Add a wireless display to your PC.

 

Open the Devices charm. Click Project and then click Add a wireless display.Open the Devices charm. Tap Project and then tap Add a wireless display.

Project your screen to a wireless display.

 

Open the Devices charm. Click Project and then select the wireless display you want.Open the Devices charm. Tap Project and then select the display you want.
Add an AccountOpen the Settings charm, and click Change PC Settings. Click Accounts, Other accounts, then click Add an account.Open the Settings charm, and then tap Change PC Settings. Tap Accounts, Other accounts, then tap Add an account

Windows 8.1 - All You Wanted To Know (2) - Here is some Technical stuff

What's New in Windows 8.1

Windows 8 brings a modern computing experience to businesses and helps professionals stay connected to their colleagues and clients from anywhere, anytime. Windows 8.1 advances this vision and introduces new manageability, mobility, security, user experience and networking capabilities with the goal of offering customers the best business tablets and versatile modern business PCs driven by the most powerful operating system designed for today's modern businesses.

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Enhancements

Workplace Join

A Windows 8 PC was either domain joined or not.  If it was a member of the domain, the user could access corporate resources (if permissioned) and IT could control the PC through group policy and other mechanisms.  This feature allows a middle ground between all or nothing access, allowing a user to work on the device of their choice and still have access to corporate resources. With Workplace Join, IT administrators now have the ability to offer finer-grained control to corporate resources.  If a user registers their device, IT can grant some access while still enforcing some governance parameters on the device.

Work Folders

Work Folders allows a user to sync data to their device from their user folder located in the corporation's data center. Files created locally will sync back to the file server in the corporate environment. This syncing is natively integrated into the file system.  Note, this all happens outside the firewall client sync support. Previously, Windows 8 devices needed to be domain joined (or required domain credentials) for access to file shares.  Syncing could be done with third-party folder replication apps. With Work Folders, Users can keep local copies of their work files on their devices, with automatic synchronization to your data center, and for access from other devices. IT can enforce Dynamic Access Control policies on the Work Folder Sync Share (including automated Rights Management) and require Workplace Join to be in place.

Open MDM

While many organizations have investments with System Center and will continue to leverage these investments we also know that many organizations want to manage certain classes of devices, like tablets and BYOD devices, as mobile devices. With Windows 8.1, you can use an OMA-DM API agent to allow management of Windows 8.1 devices with mobile device management products, like Mobile Iron or Air Watch.

Mobile Device Management

When a user enrolls their device, they are joining the device to the Windows Intune management service.  They get access to the Company Portal which provides a consistent experience for access to their applications, data and to manage their own devices.  This allows a deeper management experience with existing tools like Windows Intune. IT administrators now have deeper policy management for Windows RT devices, and can manage Windows 8.1 PCs as mobile devices without having deploy a full management client.

Web Application Proxy

The Web Application Proxy is a new role service in the Windows Server Remote Access role. It provides the ability to publish access to corporate resources, and enforce multi-factor authentication as well as apply conditional access policies to verify both the user's identity and the device they are using resources, and enforce multi-factor authentication as well as verify the device being used before access is granted.

RDS Enhancements

Win 8.1 supports enhanced Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) in Windows Server 2012 R2 with improvements in management, value, and user experience. Session Shadowing allows administrators to view and remotely control active user sessions in an RDSH server. Disk dedupe and storage tiering allow for lower cost storage options. User experience for RemoteApps, network connectivity and multiple displays has been improved. Administrators can now easily support users with session desktops to provide helpdesk style support. Administrators now have even more flexible storage options to support a VDI environment without expensive SAN investments. End users will find RemoteApp behavior is more like local apps, and the experience in low-bandwidth is better, with faster reconnects and improved compression, and support for multiple monitors.

NFC Tap-to-pair Printing

Users can tap their Windows 8.1 device against an enterprise NFC-enabled printer and you're all set to print. No more hunting on the network for the correct printer and no need to buy a special printer to take advantage of this functionality. Users need to simply attach an NFC tag to their existing printers to enable this functionality.

Wi-Fi Direct Printing

Win 8.1 users can connect to Wi-Fi Direct printers without adding additional drivers or software on their Windows 8.1 device, forming a peer-to-peer network between their device and the printer.

Native Miracast Wireless Display

Win 8.1 enables users to present their work wirelessly with no connection cords needed; users just pair their device with a Miracast-enabled projector via NFC and Miracast will use Wi-Fi to let them project wire-free.

Mobility Enhancements

VPN

Microsoft has added support for a wider range of VPN clients in both Windows and Windows RT devices. They have also added the ability to have an app automatically trigger VPN connections. 

Mobile Broadband

At Windows 8 launch, the devices had embedded radios that were separate components within the devices.  Windows 8.1 supports embedded wireless radio, which gives users increased power savings, longer battery life, also enables thinner form factors and lower cost devices. 

Windows To Go

With Windows To Go in Windows 8.1, the Windows Store is enabled by default. Windows To Go users may roam to any number of machines and access the Windows Store and use Windows Store apps. 

Broadband Tethering

Now turning a Windows 8.1 mobile broadband-enabled PC or tablet into a personal Wi-Fi hotspot, allowing other devices to connect and access the internet is easy.

Auto-triggered VPN

When users select an app or resource that needs access through the inbox VPN – like a company's intranet site – Windows 8.1 will automatically prompt them to sign in with one click. This feature is available with Microsoft and third-party inbox VPN clients.

Security Enhancements

Remote Business Data Removal

Corporations now have more control over corporate content which can be marked as corporate, encrypted, and then be wiped when the relationship between the corporation and user has ended. Corporate data can now be identified as corporate vs. user, encrypted, and wiped on command using EAS or EAS + OMA-DM protocol. This capability requires implementation in the client application and in the server application (Mail + Exchange Server). The client application determines if the wipe simply makes the data inaccessible or actually deletes it. 

Improved Biometrics

All Win 8.1 SKUs will include end to end biometric capabilities that enable authenticating with user's biometric identity anywhere in Windows (Windows sign-in, remote access, User Account Control, etc.). Windows 8.1 will also be optimized for fingerprint based biometrics and will include a common fingerprint enrollment experience that will work with a variety of readers (touch, swipe). Modern readers are touch based rather than swipe and include liveliness detection that prevents spoofing (e.g.: silicon emulated fingerprints). Access to Windows Store Apps, functions within them, and certificate release can be gated based on verification of a user's biometric identity.

Pervasive Device Encryption

Device encryption previously found on Windows RT and Windows Phone 8 is now available in all editions of Windows. It is enabled out of the box and can be configured with additional BitLocker protection and management capability on the Pro and Enterprise SKUs. Consumer devices are automatically encrypted and protected when using a Microsoft account. Data on any Windows connected standby device is automatically protected (encrypted) with device encryption. Organizations that need to manage encryption can easily take add additional BitLocker protection options and manageability to these devices.  

Improved Internet Explorer

Internet Explorer 11 improvements include faster page load times, side-by-side browsing of your sites, enhanced pinned site notifications, and app settings like favorites, tabs and settings sync across all Windows 8.1 PCs. Internet Explorer 11 now includes capability that enables an antimalware solution to scan the input for a binary extension before it is passed onto the extension for execution.

Malware Resistance

Windows Defender, Microsoft's free antivirus solution in Windows 8, will include network behavior monitoring to help detect and stop the execution of known and unknown malware. Internet Explorer will scan binary extensions (e.g. ActiveX) using the antimalware solution before potentially harmful code is executed.

Device Lockdown

With Assigned Access, a new feature offered in Windows 8.1 RT, Windows 8.1 Pro, and Windows 8.1 Enterprise, users can enable a single Windows Store application experience on the device. This can be things like a learning application for kids in an educational setting or a customer service application at a boutique, Assigned Access can ensure the device is delivering the intended experience. In Microsoft's Windows Embedded 8.1 industry product, they deliver additional lockdown capabilities to meet the needs of industry devices like point of sale systems, ATMs, and digital signs.

Modern UI Experience

Variable, Continuous Size of Snap Views

Win 8.1 users have more ways to see multiple apps on the screen at once. When displaying multiple apps at once, they can easily resize the width of the app window to suit their needs. Depending on screen size and resolution, they can even share the screen with three, or four apps on each monitor.

Boot to Desktop

Microsoft has made configuration options available which will allow users to boot directly to the desktop in Windows 8.1.

Desktop and Start Screen

Improvements have been made to better support users who prefer a mouse and keyboard experience to access applications.

Tips for the Techies using Win8

What's running?

If you launch a Metro app, play with it for a while, then press the Windows key you'll switch back to the Start screen. Your app will remain running, but as there's no taskbar then you might be wondering how you'd ever find that out. 
You could just press Alt+Tab, which shows you what's running just as it always have.  
Holding down the Windows key and pressing Tab displays a pane on the left-hand side of the screen with your running apps. (To see this with the mouse, move your cursor to the top left corner of the screen, wait until the thumbnail of one app appears, then drag down. And of course you can always press Ctrl+Shift+Esc to see all your running apps in the Task Manager, if you don't mind (or actually need) the extra technical detail. 

 Task Manager win8.jpg

Run as Administrator

Some programs need you to run them with Administrator rights before they'll work properly. The old context menu isn't available for a pinned Start screen app, but right-click one, and if it's appropriate for this app then you'll see a Run As Administrator option.
Administrative tools
Experienced Windows users who spend much of their time in one advanced applet or another are often a little annoyed to see their favourite tools buried by Windows 8. Microsoft have paid at least some attention, though, and there is a way to bring some of them back. 
Open the Metro Settings panel (press Win+I), click the Settings link, change "Show administrative tools" to Yes and click back on an empty part of the Start screen. And it's as simple as that. Scroll to the right and you'll find a host of new tiles for various key applets - Performance Monitor, Event Viewer, Task Scheduler, Resource Monitor and more - ready to be accessed at a click.
 Administrative tools win8.jpg
Install anything
Most mobile platforms recommend you only install apps from approved sources to protect your security, and Windows 8 is the same: it'll only allow you to install trusted (that is, digitally signed) apps from the Windows store.
If this proves a problem, though, and you're willing to take the security risk (because this isn't something to try unless you're entirely sure it's safe), then the system can be configured to run trusted apps from any source. Launch GPEdit.msc, browse to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > App Package Deployment, double-click "Allow all trusted apps to install" and select Enabled > OK.
Uninstall easily
The latest Windows 8 apps are better than those in the Developer Preview, but they're still a fairly random selection and you're sure to find some that you'll rarely, if ever use.  In this case right-clicking one of their Start screen tiles will display a few relevant options. 
If this is one of the larger tiles, for instance, choosing "Small" will cut it down to half the size, freeing up some valuable Start screen real estate. 
If you just want to dismiss the app for now, select "Unpin from Start". The tile will disappear, but if you change your mind then you can always add it again later. (Search for the app, right-click it, select Pin to Start. Or, if you're sure you'll never want to use an app again, choose Uninstall to remove it entirely.
 Uninstall app win8.jpg
Launch programs fast
If you're a fan of keyboard shortcuts and don't like the idea of scrolling through Metro tiles to find the program you need, don't worry, Windows 8 still supports a useful old shortcut. This is perfect if, say, you're looking to be able to shut down your PC with a click.
Launch the desktop app, right-click an empty part of the desktop and click New > Shortcut. 
Browse to the application you'd like to launch here. Of for the sake of this example, enter
shutdown.exe -s -t 00 to shut down your PC, or shutdown.exe -h -t 00 to hibernate it, and click Next. Type a shortcut name - Hibernate, say - and click Finish.
Right-click the shortcut, select Pin to Start and it should appear on the far right of the Metro screen - just drag the tile wherever you like.
VHD - enhanced
Windows 7 added support for creating and attaching virtual hard drives in Microsoft's VHD format. Now Windows 8 extends this with the new VHDX format, which improves performance, extends the maximum file size from 2 to 16TB, and makes the format "more resilient to power failure events" (so they shouldn't get corrupted as easily). Launch the Computer Management Control Panel applet, choose Disk Management, and click Actions > Create VHD to give the format a try.
Virtual Machines
Install Windows 8 and you also get Microsoft's Hyper-V, allowing you to create and run virtual machines (as long as you're not running in a virtual machine already). Launch OptionalFeatures.exe, check Hyper-V and click OK to enable the feature. Then switch back to Metro, scroll to the right, find and click on the Hyper-V Manager tile to begin exploring its capabilities.
Scheduled Maintenance
Windows 8 Consumer Preview will now run common maintenance tasks - software updates, security scanning, system diagnostics and more at a scheduled convenient time, which is good.
Unfortunately it doesn't actually ask you what time is convenient, instead just setting it to 3am and allowing the system to wake your computer (if hardware and circumstances permit) to do its work. This isn't so good. To change this, launch Control Panel, click System and Security > Action Centre > Maintenance. You can now click "Start maintenance" to launch any outstanding tasks right now, while selecting "Change maintenance settings" enables you to choose a more convenient time, and optionally disable the feature's ability to wake up your computer if that's not required.
Advanced menu options
If you need to run the command prompt as an Administrator then your instant reaction will probably be to reach for the Start menu. Before becoming annoyed a microsecond later when you remember it's no longer there.  
It's good to see that Microsoft have provided a simple alternative, then - just click the File menu in Explorer and click Open command prompt > Open command prompt as administrator.And while you're there, make note of the other advanced new options also on that menu: you can open a new window in a new process, open Explorer, and even delete your Recent Places and Address Bar histories with a click.
 Advanced Menu options win8.jpg
Show all folders
The default Windows 8 Explorer view doesn't show all the usual drives and folders - Control Panel, Recycle Bin and so on - in the left-hand navigation pane. It certainly keeps the display simple, and if you want to see all your drives then you can just click Computer, but if you prefer to see everything up-front then it only takes a moment. Click View > Options, check "Show all folders" and click OK.
Mount ISO files in Windows 8
Need to take a closer look at an ISO file? Right-click it in Explorer, click Mount and you can view it as a virtual drive, launch the files it contains, or add more if you like.
Restart Explorer
If Explorer locks up for some reason, then regaining control is now very easy. No need to close the process any more: simply press Ctrl+Alt+Esc, select Explorer in the list, click Restart and Windows 8 will handle the rest.
VirtualBox error
The safest way to sample Windows 8 CP is to install it on a VirtualBox virtual machine. It's fairly easy to set up, there's no need to worry about partitioning or other issues, and if it doesn't work for whatever reason (which is possible, it's a beta after all) then you'll have lost nothing but a little time. 
After completing your installation, though, you might find your virtual Windows 8 complaining that "Your PC needs to be repaired". But despite telling you to "Press Enter to try again", or "Press F8 for alternate boot options", neither option works. 
Fortunately there's an easy answer. Close the Windows 8 window, select your virtual machine in VirtualBox, click Settings > System > Processor and check the "Enable PAE/NX" box. Click OK, restart your virtual machine and this time it should launch properly.
Metro apps won't launch
You click a Metro app, and nothing else happens? Display issues are often the cause. In particular, Metro apps don't currently support screen resolutions lower than 1024x768 (or 1366 x 768 when snapping), so increase your resolution if possible (launch the desktop, right-click, select Screen Resolution).
Or if that's no help, try updating your video drivers.
Performance problems
If your Windows 8 system seems sluggish, the revamped task manager may be able to offer some clues. Press Ctrl+Shift+Esc to take a look.
The simplified Processes tab then reveals what's currently using your CPU time, RAM, hard drive and network bandwidth. (The more in-depth data available in previous Task Manager versions is now accessible via the Details tab.)
The Performance tab gives you a graphical view of resource use over the last few seconds, while the App History dialog looks back over days or more to reveal which app is the most resource-hungry.
And is your boot time slow? Click the new Startup tab to see programs your system is launched when Windows boots. The "Startup impact" now shows how much of an effect each of these has on your boot time; if you spot high impact programs you're sure you don't need, then right-clicking them and selecting "Disable" will ensure they're not loaded next time.
 Powerful though all this is, if you can think of a reason to use the old Task Manager then it's still accessible. Hold down the Windows key, press R, type TaskMGR and press Enter to launch it. (Typing TM will launch the new version.)
 Performance problems Task manager win8.jpg
Device Manager Events
If you've a driver or hardware-related problem with Windows 8, launch Device Manager, browse to the relevant device, right-click it, select Properties and click the new Events tab. If Windows has installed drivers, related services or carried out other important actions on this device then you'll now see them here, very useful when troubleshooting.
Recovery options
Windows 8 Consumer Preview has performed well for us, but if you find it won't boot at some point then you now have to press Shift+F8 during the launch process to access its recovery tools. Access the Troubleshoot menu, then Advanced Options and you'll be able to try the Automatic Repair tool, which may fix your problems. No luck? The same menu enables you to use the last System Restore point, tweak key Windows Startup settings, even open a command prompt if you'd like to troubleshoot your system manually. 
If that all seems like too much hassle then the Troubleshoot menu's option to "Refresh your PC" may be preferable, as it essentially reinstalls Windows 8 but keeps your files, and will fix many issues.But if it doesn't then there's always the more drastic "Reset your PC" option, which removes all your files and installs a fresh new copy of Windows 8.You don't have to access these features from the boot menu, of course. If Windows 8 starts but seems very unstable, then open the new Recovery applet in Control Panel for easy access to the Refresh, Reset and other disaster recovery features.
Advanced options Recovery win8.jpg 

Windows 8 Basics for those who can’t Touch!

Many users of Windows 7 or older OSs are apprehensive about the new Windows 8 Operating System. They are prejudiced when they think that Windows 8 is inclined more towards the touch screen interface than the conventional keyboard – mouse interface that we are all familiar with. But the fact is Windows 8 is designed not only for the Touch user but also the Can't-touch user. Almost all that you can do with the touch interface can also be done with one or more keystrokes or one or two mouse clicks.

Here is how…

Start…

Move from the lock screen to the login screen with the tap of your Spacebar key or the spin of the mouse wheel.

Browse…

Press the Home or End keys to jump from one end of your Start screen to the other. Spin the mouse wheel to scroll the screen forward and backward. Use the cursor keys to move to a particular tile. Tap Enter to select it. Double click a tile to launch the app. Press the Windows key to return to the Metro screen. Right-click apps you don't need and select Unpin to remove them.  Drag and drop the other tiles around to organize them as you like.
To find all your installed apps, hold down the Windows key and press Q (or right-click an empty part of the Start screen and select All Apps).You can use the horizontal scroll bar now. Browse the various tiles to find what you need and click the relevant app to launch it.
A text based Start menu can be accessed with a right-click in the bottom left corner (or hold down the Windows key and press X) which provides easy access to lots of useful applets and features: Device Manager, Control Panel, Explorer, the Search dialog and more.

Work…

If you launch a Metro app, play with it for a while, then press the Windows key you'll switch back to the Start screen. Your app will remaining running.
Metro apps don't have close buttons, but this isn't the issue you might think. Apps are suspended when you switch to something else so they're only a very minimal drain on your system, and if you need the system resources then they'll automatically be shut down. (Their context will be saved, of course, so on relaunching they'll carry on where you left off.)
If you want to close down an app anyway, though, move the mouse cursor up to the top of the screen. When it turns from the regular mouse pointer to the icon of a hand, hold down the left mouse button and drag it down the screen. Your app should shrink to a thumbnail which you can drag off the screen to close it. If that's too much hassle then simply pressing Alt+F4 still works. 
And when all else fails then press Ctrl+Shift+Esc to launch Task Manager, right-click something in the Apps list and select End Task. Beware, though, close something you shouldn't and it's easy to crash or lock up your PC. 

Close…

Wonder how to shut down the system? Just move the mouse cursor to the bottom right corner of the screen, click the Settings icon - or just hold down the Windows key and press I - and you'll see a power button. Click this and choose "Shut down" or "Restart". 
Some of the tricks available in previous versions of Windows still apply. Press Ctrl+Alt+Del, for instance, click the power button in the bottom right-hand corner and you'll be presented with the same "Shut down" and "Restart" options. And if you're on the desktop, press Alt+F4 and you'll be able to choose Shut Down, Restart, Sign Out or Switch User options.

Can’t-touch users! Improve your productivity with Windows 8

Navigate easily - Group together your applications

The Start screen apps are initially displayed in a fairly random order, but if you'd prefer a more organized life then it's easy to sort them into custom groups.
E.g. You might drag People, Mail, Messaging and Calendar over to the left-hand side to form a separate "People" group. Click the magnifying glass icon in the bottom right corner of the screen to carry out a "semantic zoom", and you'll now find you can drag and drop the new group (or any of the others) around as a block.
Right-click within the block (while still in the semantic zoom view) and you'll also be able to give the group a name, which - if you go on to add another 20 or 30 apps to your Start screen - will make it much easier to find the tools you need.

Access quickly - Push-pin your app to the Start screen

If there's an application you use all the time, you don't have to access it via the search system. Start by typing part of the name of your application.
E.g., type Control. Right-click the "Control Panel" tile on the Apps Search screen, and click "Pin to Start".
Now press the Windows key, scroll to the right and you'll see the Control Panel tile at the far end. Drag and drop this over to the left somewhere if you'd like it more easily accessible, then click the tile to open the desktop along with the Control Panel window, and press the Windows key to return you to the Start screen when you've done.

Become versatile - Run two apps side by side

Metro apps are what Microsoft call "immersive" applications, which basically means they run full-screen - but there is a way to view two at once.
if you're using a keyboard, use Win+. (period) to snap an app to the right, or Win+Shift+. (period) to snap to the left. (Whatever the interface, you can't snap apps unless your screen resolution is at least 1366 x 768.)
E.g. Launch the Map applet and press Win+. (period). Then switch back to the Start screen and launch your desktop. And now you have a live, scrolling Map applet on the right side of your screen which is effectively working as a desktop sidebar, and you can access simply by moving the mouse there and clicking on it. If you need more space then drag the separator to the left and the desktop will shrink to a left-hand sidebar, but both apps remain active and working, so you can use Metro and regular desktop tools side by side.

Save your time – save a screen shot automatically

If a Metro application is showing something interesting and you'd like to record it for posterity, then hold down the Windows key, press PrtSc, and the image won't just go to the clipboard: it'll also be automatically saved to your My Pictures folder with the name Screenshot.png (and then Screenshot(1).png, Screenshot(2).png and so on). The earlier Win+Alt+PrtSc won’t work anymore.

Find Settings information faster – Smart search your way

If you'd like to know what's new in the area of storage, say, just press Win+W to launch the Settings Search dialog, type drive , and the system will return a host of related options. That is, not just those with "drive" in the name, but anything storage-related: BitLocker, Device Manager, backup tools, disk cleanup, and interesting new features like Storage Spaces. 
This Search feature isn't new, of course, but it's easy to forget how useful this can be, especially when you're trying to learn about a new operating system. So don't just carry out specific searches, use the Apps search to look for general keywords such as "privacy" or "performance", and you just might discover something new.