Be warned. If you even consider yourself a semi IT professional, you would do yourself a favor and skip this book as you will barely gain any knowledge after having read through it. The reason being is that there is rarely anything I would consider “in-depth” at all. I expected some heavy tips and guides to troubleshooting Windows 8 issues. What I got instead was tips on how to use the myriad of built-in diagnostic tools baked in the operating system and rarely does it venture outside of that. That’s right. This is another one of those technical books that talks to you about how to use Device Manager as if you’ve never seen it a thousand times prior to Windows 8. Already know what a firewall is? Well too bad because all you’ll learn to do here is how to configure the built-in Windows firewall to set up a basic outbound rule. Want to know how to get technical with the Event Viewer? Sorry, that ain’t happening here. Want to know how to troubleshoot Storage Spaces, possibly one of the biggest new feature in Windows 8? Try again. All you’ll even get is about 2-3 mini paragraphs in the entire book (can you believe that?) going over just briefly on what Storage Spaces is rather than actually talking about how to get it setup much less “troubleshoot” it. I guarantee you that you’ll get a lot more information about this technology reading one of Microsoft’s official blog posts instead.
This book, however, should be a good reference to the casual crowd and up and coming IT personnel so not all is bad. It’s just that I personally expected a whole lot more. In the author’s defense, although Windows 8 is a completely new beast when compared to Windows 7 and before it, it seems that not much has changed as far as built-in utility goes while in desktop mode. Many of the built-in tools in Windows 7 are still present in Windows 8 and for the most part, work the same as well. It wasn’t as if the author could just invent something new and talk about it. What I did expect was for the author to actually go in depth on troubleshooting certain issues in Windows 8 rather than just showing us which utility to fire up and subsequently which link to click on within that utility and so forth. Being as how Windows 8 is a new OS, I expected the author to spend some time going over how users can get the most out of the new Start Screen and how to better optimize/customize it to their liking and what issues could arise. I got none of that. Windows 8 also manages memory differently than previous OS and so I thought I would get some juicy details on application management and issues that the author experienced during his time with Windows 8. But again, this was not the case.
The author seems to know his stuff. However, it just seems to me as if he just put together a list of all the programs and utilities baked into Windows 8 and talked a little about each of them and how it can help you. In a sense, yes, some would call that troubleshooting. But I guess my biggest issue with this book is it being labeled “The ultimate, in-depth troubleshooting and optimizing reference”. I highly doubt it can earn that title. While I’m not expecting “Mark Russinovich” type of content here, there just got to be something more than what this book currently offers. As I said earlier, if you are looking for a book that introduces you to the myriad of troubleshooting utilities in Windows 8, then by all means this might be for you. If you are looking for insider tips and tricks on how to troubleshoot Windows 8, then you’ll be disapointed. I’m not arrogant enough to claim that I know everything the author has talked about in this book. I admit that I did learn some new stuff here. But I feel that hardly justifies the time and money spent on the book.
My personal opinion is that if you are looking for a book to read on Windows 8, wait for the upcoming Windows 8 Inside Out edition instead which releases at the end of November. Better yet, if you really want more advance details on Windows 8 features and abilities, look for the information from online articles and whitepapers instead. I also strongly suggest you take advantage of the free preview Amazon offers of this book. I believe you can read the first 4 chapters for free. You can then decide if this book is to your standard or not.