Because Windows 8 is intended as a unified system for both PC and tablet, it works as well with a keyboard and mouse as it does with touch. As with seemingly everything in Windows 8, this too serves two masters. It gives you the precision required for Photoshop editing or navigating a spreadsheet’s cells. You get touch, mouselike precision, and keyboard hot keys in Windows 8.
One of the best keyboard functions is that you can pull up an app from the Start screen just by beginning to type. It’s very simple and effective: type “ga” when on the Start screen, and a list of apps with “ga” in their name appear in the center of the screen, but on the right you can flip from Apps to Settings to Files that have the same “ga” string.
As soon as you move the mouse, though, a scroll bar will appear along the bottom edge of the Start screen. You can then use the scroll bar to navigate through your groups, or you can use the scroll wheel for that — so the vertical motion is interpreted by Windows 8 as a horizontal scroll.
Move the mouse to the lower-left corner to reveal your Start screen, or the upper-left corner for your most recently visited app. If you then move the mouse alongside the left edge, it will reveal your other most recently used apps.
The mouse has been enabled for apps also. In Internet Explorer, for example, a back navigation arrow appears on the left, and a forward nav arrow appears on the right edge. Mouse to the lower-right corner to reveal the navigation charms, and then mouse up along the edge to use them.
Right-clicking reveals the “app edges,” the app-specific options from the top and bottom screen edges, while a button denoted by a magnifying glass on the far right of the scroll bar zooms you in and out of your groups.
If you’re on the lock screen, you click and drag it up to reveal the password dialog. It may sound like a lot that’s different from the touch workflow, but it’s actually quite simple. You can even use the mouse for your picture log-in.