Windows 8 was released on Oct 26th, 2012 to the public. There are a lot of differences to its predecessor operating systems. The Metro Style tiles and apps are the new learning curve of Windows 8 features.
Metro Start Screen and Tiles – Windows 8 Features
Metro Start in Windows 8 is the new interface for starting programs. The screen is divided into small tiles with apps and are updated from time to time. You can regroup the apps as per your interest.
Windows 8 has the dual advantage of a metro screen and normal start-up menu like Windows 7. All the applications of the previous OS still run in Windows 8. But to adjust to the new tiles takes little time.
Metro apps display on the metro screen. They are easy to install and work easily with Windows. Windows Store is another rich feature from where you can download the metro apps. One-click access is available on the Metro screen for Windows Store.
If you are missing the Start Menu of Windows 7, you can get it back in Windows 8 using ViStart. A third-party application that brings back Start Menu to Windows 8.
Windows 8 Devices and Touch
Windows 8 has the dual approach of tablets and desktops. It suits both the devices. There is a change in the default browser of Windows 8. Internet 10 has the traditional view and a light-weight browser.
Touch commands are available for Window 8 touch devices. SkyDrive, now called OneDrive, is integrated into Windows 8. It provides 5GB of free cloud storage service and you can sync different files on your computer to the cloud. Even large files up to 2GB in size are available for transfer.
If you want to skip the login screen and directly go to the Metro interface, then this guide will help.
Windows 8 Control Panel
Charms bar is the de-facto standard, replacing the control panel of Windows 7. It offers quick access to search, sharing, device settings and much more. Search bar existed in previous Windows versions, but its user experience has improved in the new Windows 8.
Windows 8 snap-to feature allows multitasking of Metro apps. On the same screen, you can operate two apps and also communicate with classic desktop applications.
Different brands like Dell, Lenovo, HP support the Windows 8 operating system and detail its features.
Windows 8 Recovery and PC Settings
Recovery is a new feature that helps to refresh or reset Windows 8 pc. Two new options are available in addition to the system restore and other recovery options of Windows 7.
New PC settings are available in the control panel. Load and boot times have significantly improved due to better resource allocations. Windows 8 hibernates the system kernel when you shut down. When you reboot, the system starts a lot quicker.
Live Information of Stocks and Weather
Windows 8 allows personalization with the desktop apps on the Metro Interface. The live tiles display real time information. Search within apps has vastly improved with Windows 8’s search function.
You can connect to remote computers using the remote desktop protocol of Windows 8. A complete video tutorial is given on how to implement it.
Windows 8 New Feature
Windows To Go feature allows you to make a copy of Windows 8 OS complete with system settings, apps, wallpapers, files into an USB drive. This is an incredible feature. When the system is hit by viruses you can get back your system settings and files by connecting the USB drive.
Windows Live Account helps to restore the personal settings of Windows 8 PC. If you have formatted your desktop and would like to restore back the previous theme settings and options, this facilitates the connection.
Hot Corners and Social Media Sharing
Hot corners is another great feature of Windows 8. When you move your mouse pointer to the corners of the screen, it will open a toolbar that you can click. Further options are available under this setting.
Social Media accounts like Facebook, Twitter and Flickr can be linked to Windows 8. When your friends update it is seen in the People’s app updates.
Built-in Antivirus Windows 8
The built-in antivirus program, Windows Defender, offers good protection to Windows 8 computers. It protects from ransomware and spyware. The app permissions are mentioned for each app in the Windows Store.
Windows Live Id helps in migrating to a new PC with the same settings as on your old PC. All the important personalized settings are kept the same.
Pinning an app or tile is easy in Windows 8 Metro interface. But if you would like to pin websites also, that is made feasible. It helps in quick access to your most important sites.
Sharing is another good feature of Windows 8. You just have to go to the Charms bar and share to Email or Facebook.
Task Manager and Xbox
Task Manager has also improved in Windows 8. How processes and performance are managed are different in the new Metro OS. The boost can be seen in the Task Manager details. The amount of resources taken by each app and device are listed here.
Xbox live integration is done with Windows 8. This makes playing games more easy and integration with Xbox devices simple. Settings were difficult in Windows 7. But now with Windows 8 Xbox error codes are reduced.
USB 3.0 and ARM devices
USB 3.0 support is available. In recent times, faster transfer rates are possible with USB 3.0. If you have compatible external hard devices, reading and writing will be much quicker.
Windows 8 is supported on ARM devices and x86 architecture computers. A special version called Windows RT runs on ARM based systems. Legacy software can’t be installed on this type of OS.
Upgrade, Price Comparison and Dual Monitor Support
If you want to upgrade to Windows 8, you can read this review on getting a discount and a cheaper rate to buy the latest version.
Start page has been mandatory for all systems. The Metro screen is not very pleasing to Windows users. It can be used both with keyboard and mouse, and also using touch.
Better multi-monitor support is available in Windows 8. You can move your browsers and apps from one screen to another with ease. This facilitates large work space. You can extend the taskbar and wallpapers.
The price comparison of different versions of Windows 8 can be seen here.