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Windows 8 - can it be simplified?

(5 Posts)
RabbitsarenotHares Fri 21-Mar-14 20:59:31

My mum is looking for a new laptop. She's in her mid 70s and doesn't really have any interest in computing so teaching her how to use a computer over the years has been interesting. The only things she uses it for are emails, Skype and Patience-style games. She does go on the internet, but only to a couple of pages a friend has bookmarked for her or if I've sent her a link. She wouldn't, for example, Google something.

I know people here have recommended the HP pavilion which looks like it would do. However, I'm slightly concerned about Windows 8. I've not used it myself, but from what I can tell the home screen is covered I large icons, most of which would mean nothing to her and she wouldn't use. Is it possible to simplify it so that she has one for Outlook, one for the internet, one for Skype and then ones for the games she plays? Oh, and she'll also need to be able to get online easily (currently using a dongle but I'm thinking about BT Broadband).

Has anyone got any suggestions? I'll be down in a few weeks so can get things set up, but then she's fairly well on her own.

Many thanks!

RustyBear Fri 21-Mar-14 23:07:37

Yes, you can customise the Start screen in Windows8, so your mum can have just the icons she uses on there, including icons for shortcuts to her favourite websites - and most of them can be made bigger too. Make sure the laptop has Windows 8.1, not the first version, as it is much more customisable.
This website has some good tips, and there was a thread a while ago where I posted a method of putting a single click shutdown button on Windows 8, which your mum might find easier than the default method; I'll see if I can find it.

RustyBear Fri 21-Mar-14 23:19:33

Here's the thread - my posts are mainly about how you can make Windows8.1 look more like Windows 7, but the shutdown button can also be put as a tile on the Start screen - it should be one of the options when you right click on it.

If you often send your mum links by email, she may like the way the Windows8.1 mail app deals with them - it opens the link in the right hand side of the screen while keeping the original email open, so if there is more than one link in the email you can open each link in turn, read the page and then go on to the next link in the email - very handy!

RabbitsarenotHares Sat 22-Mar-14 09:28:47

Thanks Rusty, that's really useful. Thanks so much. And that email link thing sounds fantastic. I'll give the links you posted a good read so that I'm ready to sort it for her when I'm down.

Do you know anything about the Pavilion? Do you think it'll be ok for her?

RustyBear Sat 22-Mar-14 10:22:45

There are quite a few varieties of HP Pavilion laptop, so I'm not sure which one has been recommended to you. I bought DD one for her birthday about a month ago -I bought it from John Lewis but it's not on their website anymore. DD doesn't live here, so I can't check the exact model, but it was similar to this one. She seems very happy with it so far!

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