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Free ebook teaches IT pros the Windows 8 basics

Get the first 11 chapters of the upcoming reference book, "Introducing Windows 8: An Overview for IT Professionals."

If you handle the IT chores for your business, you've no doubt heard by now that Windows 8 is a little, um, different. See Windows 8 review.

For example, there's no Start button. The traditional desktop has been supplanted by a tile-heavy, tablet-style interface. And what's this whole Charms bar thing?

Even IT pros need a little education when it comes to such a vastly overhauled OS. Thankfully, Microsoft Press has stepped up with "Introducing Windows 8: An Overview for IT Professionals," an ebook that identifies and explains Windows' new features.

Although the complete tome isn't quite finished yet, you can download a preview edition free of charge. It includes the first 11 chapters, which is actually about 3/4 of the full 200-page book.

The preview, provided here as a PDF, covers topics including preparing for deployment, Windows 8 recovery and management, Internet Explorer 10, and virtualization.

If you're the kind who prefers print editions, that goes on sale later this month from publisher O'Reilly; you can preorder it now for $14.99.

Even if you're not managing an enterprise-size business, there's a lot of useful information to be gleaned here, especially with regard to deploying Windows 8 and any apps you might want your employees to have.

Of course, I suspect that not many businesses will be moving to Windows 8 anytime soon. But you can always keep the ebook on file for when that day comes.

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