My soon 80-year-old grandma uses windows 8.

This Christmas I helped my soon 80-year-old grandma to get started with windows 8.

In my previous post about “Does it take an engineer to operate windows 8” I blogged about people finding it hard to windows 8. In this blog post, I am writing about my soon 80-year-old grandma who just started using windows 8.

My grandma got her first computer some years back and started learning to use a computer around the age of 70. The computer was installed with windows vista. In this process, I have rarely helped her as the distance between us is several hours of transport and there have always been someone else there to step in. When my mom came to me asking me about what they should get as a new laptop for my grandma, it had no doubt that I wanted her to use windows 8.

If you read my previous post, you would know how this statement was not at all that popular. No way would she be able to figure out how to use windows 8 I was told. In the past, as a result of it not always being the same person who was tasked with helping my grandma with her computer, it have caused some frustrations for the assisting people, because they all had different ways of using a computer and things changed depending on who helped her last. This luckily for me caused them to ask me to be the administrator for the future and helping grandma when something out of the ordinary has happened. By these powers given to me, I made the decision that she should have a windows 8 machine.

My motivations for windows 8 for this project was simple. She was used to use her pc in a very simple way, turn it on. Press the internet explorer taskbar button, which was configured to open three tabs with her home banking, mail and Google. I instead before giving her this new pc, configured it to start up on the start screen with only four tiles that each opened an internet explorer browser for the task to be accomplished by the given tile. Next to the tree tiles replacing the old 3 tabs, I placed in the windows store app for Bing maps with the idea of showing her how she could use that.

The exiting moment came where I had to show her the new machine. To my relief it vent much better than expected. She turned on the pc and the four tiles was there with names and icons, and I almost had to say nothing before she knew what should happen. She pressed the tiles and the browser opened the internet pages, as she knew them. One important note here, it is the normal desktop browser and not the windows store app. The exiting moment was about to happen, where I wanted to show here the Maps App, but before getting to say anything she had pressed it saying “Let’s try the maps” and it just worked for her, no hassle. This day made my Christmas just a little better. Christmas lunch the day after she commented, “Everything just works”.

Why did this become such a success for her? Because she was only shown the subset of things in windows 8 she really needed. The computer had been configured for just her needs and what did this take of my time? Just around 15mins. Now I just have to wait and see if it is a truth success or it all falls apart in the coming year.

To better assist her in any problems to come in the coming year, I developed a little tool that also got its own tile on the start screen with my name on it. When she presses it an application launches where she have to type in her outlook.com password for her mail and it will launch msra.exe and send me an email with the invitation for assisting her and I can then use remote assistance for helping out. This application turned out to be a fun little experiment also that I want to blog about in the coming weeks.



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