Are you an IT rookie or Pro looking to get a firm understanding of how to implement Windows 8 in the enterprise? Or are you a geek who just wants to know how Windows 8 works? If you're in any of the two mentioned groups you will get a firm understanding of Windows 8 due to the excellent writing, questions, and lab exercises in Training Guide: Configuring Windows 8. How does this book differ from other books on Windows 8? I think it differs in the writing style and the structure of the book. I have read other books on Windows 8 that are focused on tips and tricks; focused on the expert IT pro; and one that covered every "bit" of Windows 8. Yes, those other books have their purpose and that's fine, but this book is aimed at "teaching" the reader Windows 8 from the "surface" level to the advanced level without going off on unnecessary tips and theory.
The authors clearly know their subject, but they don't beat you down with it. Also, the authors offer real-world examples and tell the reader what is necessary for learning Windows 8. I really like that. When I read a training guide, I only want to know how the hardware/software functions and how to make it work for my environment. When I want to read the theory of the technology I go to a different kind of book. I like that this book at the beginning of each lesson tells the reader what he or she should know by that point, what is required for the lesson suggestions and labs, and that at the end of each lesson is a lesson summary. Throughout each lesson there are real-world examples and quick hits of information related to the topic of the lesson.
Are there any cons to this book? I gave an honest consideration to this and I did think of a con. I think there could have been more questions at the end of each lesson. Each lesson ended with 2 to 5 questions. While there could have been more, I don't think this does any damage to the book. The amount of questions asked still help the reader to reflect on the lesson learned so it's not a con that takes away a rating star.
While this book lets you know in the beginning it's not intended as a sole source for the Windows 8 exam, it does cover some of the required topics for the Window 8 exam so this is a great addition to your study tools for the exam. I think the lab exercises will help you as well.
Anyway, rambling aside, grab this book to learn about Windows 8. In my mind it's currently the best book available to train you on how to use Windows 8. Hey, I bet you'll even have fun doing it.