Introduction to Windows 8
Software giant Microsoft announced that its next-generation new version of Microsoft Windows 8 operating system will be launched this October (2012). It will be launched simultaneously across 109 countries & in 231 different languages.
People are saying that upcoming Windows 8 will bring the next level of integration for both computers and mobile devices. It will work on all devices from tiny touch screen phones to desktops. It will be handy with traditional keyboards & mouse as well as on touch screen too.
Windows 8 will come in only four versions:
- Home users: It will include windows 8. It will have start screen and its appps along with fully functional desktop. It doesn’t include Microsoft Office apps.
- Business: Windows 8 Pro come in this category. It includes everything found in windows 8 along with the advanced features of Remote desktop, encryption, virtual hard drives etc.
- Devices running ARM chips: It is designed as per the needs of ipad and other popular tablets. This version is named as Windows RT. It comes pre-installed on tablets or laptops. One can’t install traditional programs on windows RT desktop instead they can download it from Windows Store app.
- Large enterprises: This version comprise of Windows 8 Enterprise edition. It offers extra networking features to help technicians run large networks.
Current upgrade options & Pricing:
Microsoft stated that whomever purchase qualified windows 7 machines in between June 2, 2012 until January 31, 2013 will avail the facility of windows upgrade offer to windows 8 only at a bearable cost of just US$17.99 whereas previous versions of the Windows OS including XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7 will be eligible to upgrade to windows 8 for US$39.99.
New features in Windows 8:
There are a few aspects of Windows 8 that will be its highlights; and the foremost among them is a quick access to the applications. There is a tiled design of the applications which is scheduled to give the main screen a new look with the available apps. The ease with which the apps are said to operate makes it a pleasant experience for you to work with these; especially when you are working with multiple applications at the same time.
The key improvements to look out for in Windows 8 include:
- A start screen to replace the Windows Start menu. This will be made up from tiles that will enable you to launch apps faster.
- Each tile app will be ‘live’, that is, it will provide you with constantly updated information about your apps.
- Easier switching between running apps.
- The ability to snap and resize apps to have several open on your desktop at once.
- Touch optimized browsing using Internet Explorer 10.
Advanced Feature of Windows 8
1. File History:
Microsoft survey revealed one of the important facts that people do less use of their backup & restore option available in their previous version of windows. In order to overcome this they come out with a new concept of File History.
Windows 8 includes a new feature called File History. The service backs up files that are in libraries, contacts, favorites and on the desktop. It scans every hour by default and records changes to a separate drive where users can recover versions from specific points in time. So if file are damaged or lost or if earlier versions are needed, they can be restored via File History.
Is setting up of File history complex process?
No, As per Microsoft, the process of setting up File History is simple. Users only need to turn on the feature and select the external drive or network location where the files will be stored. Once users do this, File History will run unassisted and transparently, activating itself every hour by default to back up files.
Finding the file and version to be restored can be done browsing or searching using keywords, file names and date ranges. Users can select the version they want based on previews and can restore them with a mouse click or by tapping on the touchscreen.
2. New startup type of service in Windows 8: start on demand
- Microsoft comes out with a concept of running limited services of OS instead of all services running all the time & taking up memory.
- They moved 13 OS services to a “start on demand” model. These services are moved to a “Manual” start in Windows 8.
3. Automatic updates:
With Windows 8, users will no longer be frustrated by those frequent warnings that frequently inform a system that it has been updated and needs to be restarted. With the latest OS, Windows Update (WU) will combine all the restarts in a month into one single restart for enhanced user’s experience.
4. Long battery life by using Combine Memory concept:
- Windows 8 will enhance battery life by reducing memory needs.
- In normal situation whenever we install any application it allocates some extra memory in case we need it in future. But in practical these do nothing & causing more consumption of RAM which in turn uses more battery.
- Microsoft developed a way of combining such memory to access actual memory needs of an app & deletes all duplicate memory entries across the system. Ultimately it will alter consumption of battery.
Expected new hardware with Windows 8: It will come out with new touchscreen capable laptops in order to leverage the touch support that is built into Windows 8.
Additional requirements to use certain features:
- To use touch, you need a tablet or a monitor that supports multi-touch.
- To access the Windows Store and to download and run apps, you need an active Internet connection and a screen resolution of at least 1024 x 768.
- To snap apps, you need a screen resolution of at least 1366 x 768.
- Internet access