One of the most frustrating adaptations when operating systems are revised has been that some of the settings get moved and finding where they are in the new version can be difficult. Windows 8 has a simple solution to this problem: Don’t look, search instead.

Windows 8: Smarter SearchIt may take some getting used to, but it works. It may also change the role of support techs by allowing non-technical people to use a skill they already have, using the computer to search for things, to find things for which they would have once needed support. Finding the settings for adding a Bluetooth device is as simple as opening the Charms bar to search for settings and typing “Bluetooth” (see image, right). Support staff will now be freed to assist with more difficult tasks or focus on helping people make fuller use of technology.

The Search tool on the Charms bar is also conveniently contextual. If you open it while in the Mail application it is automatically set to search for mail. All of the search options are available, but the one you are most likely to want is already selected.

Yes, there will be a learning curve with Windows 8. Fortunately, one of the most painful learning curves has been eliminated and a familiar tool has been made useful in more places.

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