Windows 8 – The Latest Offering from Microsoft

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

The software giant, Microsoft, is out yet again with its latest operating system; Windows 8. Although the development of the newest Windows operating system started in the year 2009 and the prerelease version remained in use from September 2011 to May 2012, the fully developed version was made available to general public on 26 October this year, i.e. 2012.

The new Windows 8 operating system boasts at least 300 new features; interactive and dynamic desktop is one of the first things the user will notice upon logging in. The user interface is tile based which makes it comparable to the smartphones’ application menu. The animation enables interface of Windows 8 to be customizable and it also displays real time information for the user; for example, you can check your inbox without actually opening the email app. The system also supports basic touch gestures like swiping and pinch to zoom.
Windows 8
Another important feature is the snap multitasking. It allows the users to run, customize and arrange two applications side by side. Switching between applications can be done by simple swipe touch gesture. Although two applications can run side by side, not all programs can be opened on a single screen in Windows 8 platform.

To make the touch experience more convenient and enhanced, Microsoft has included two soft keyboards; one is the traditional one and the other is the thumb keyboard. The word suggestion and spell checker tool makes typing even easier. The keyboard can be altered for language adjustment but the language change will apply to the entire system instead of only to the keyboard.

Windows 8 also maintains the older style, the older start bar has been renamed to “Charms” and it contains a set of five basic settings (Start, Search, Share, Devices, and Settings) relating to both application specific settings and system settings. Settings for social networking platforms and connected devices can be found here.

The new OS is far much better than any of the previous versions, even Windows 7. Windows 8 has speedy boot time because of its intelligent resource allocation between system and programs. In addition to this, Windows 8 also utilizes hibernating the system kernel technique which makes its boot time faster than Windows 7 desktop too. The search capabilities of the new OS are stronger too. There is no search box but user can type anything at all and search box will appear showing results instantly.

In addition to having the faster MicrosoftUSB 3.0 port, Windows 8 also supports x86 PCs and ARM tablets, has better copying function and touch enabled web navigation. It syncs better than Windows 7. The picture passwords, ability to manage internal and external storage and convenient OS reset options make Windows 8 all more likeable for most users.

Unlike any of its prototypes (including Windows 7), the Windows 8 has built in social networking apps in its user interface. This makes sharing data relatively convenient and faster. Likewise, the OS also has its own built in antivirus to help keep the system secure from malware and viruses in real time.

Functions like task bar and windows explorer have been redesigned and renamed. Control panel includes a few new options. Where new features and customization options have been added to the newest version of Microsoft Windows, a few have been removed as well. These include the startup, the DVD playing support in the media player and the Windows media center.

Because Windows 8 has a lot more features than Windows 7, the system requirements are also slightly higher. It needs certain hardware specifications which are mandatory; including PAE, NX bit, and SSE2. Similarly, Windows App Store has screen resolution reservations.

All in all, Windows 8 is a huge step forward towards customization and faster user experience.