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Microsoft Windows 8: Highly awaited till October - 26, 2012

We are fortunate enough to live in the era of Science and Technology. Though there is always something new being introduced in the market, what appeals to our mind the most are the technologies that are made exactly the way we want. So when the desired technology comes in as a full basket coupled with the desired features, it gives us immense pleasure to explore it even more, and we wait to lay our hands on it as soon as possible. Indeed, some things are really worth spreading around far and wide, and that I shall happily do. My Windows 8 story opens as follows:

With Internet Explorer 10, Windows 8 introduces not just one but two new web browsers – as IE 10 turns out to be a set of twins: one for the new "modern" style user interface – previously known as Metro, - and one for the more familiar desktop. They may share the same code, with a common HTML rendering engine and JavaScript compiler, but they're very different browsers.

Microsoft has encouraged web sites to take advantage of Internet Explorer 9's site pinning features, with new larger favicons and tools for notifying users of changes to sites (as well as jump lists that give you deep links into a site or a web application). Those tools are still there for Windows 8's desktop - there's still the ability for users to pin a shortcut to site to the Windows task bar - but the task bar isn't the only place for pinned sites. They can also be live tiles on the new Windows 8 Start screen.

The most awaited OS i.e. Windows 8 is just few days away from general availability. After knowing the features and its fresh new look the excitement and eagerness to actually work on it increases as you explore it more and more. It was surprising to know that development of Windows 8 started before Windows 7 was actually shipped into the market.

Microsoft Windows 8 is almost ready to be released but before this version, Microsoft has released three pre-release versions which are as follows -

  • Development Preview
  • Consumer Preview
  • Release Preview

The Developer Version consists of SDKs and developer tools for developing applications for Windows 8's new interface. According to Microsoft, there were more than 500,000 downloads of the developer preview within the first 12 hours of its release.

A very interesting fact about Windows 8 is that there is no ‘Start button’ and we all know how much we are habituated to click the start button to start our PC, laptop or tablet. In the Consumer Preview, Start button is no longer present on the taskbar, though the Start screen is still triggered by clicking the bottom-left corner of the screen on the Charm bar.

The Internet Explorer of Release Preview comes with an integrated version of Flash Player. Also there are many apps like sports, travel etc.

The Final version comes with the Metro Interface. Its tile structured UI completely changes the look and feel of the desktop; it is now more aligned with the Metro Interface.

New Features that appeals the working environment:

The Metro Interface (like our Windows mobile smartphones) has an eye catchy graphics and is designed to allow minimum number of click to open an app.

Windows 8 is by default integrated with social networking sites like Facebook, Flickr and SkyDrive Integration to Xbox 360.

Windows 8 has Integrated Hyper-V feature. Now Hyper-V is not limited to only Server Operating Systems like Windows 2008.

In Windows 8 the most important applications are provided on the main screen itself for quick usability. Windows 8 also supports touch based commands; touch screen (like smart phones) can be used to access the applications. The touch keyboard helps to increase the typing speed and reduces the mistakes ultimately. With seamless connections to people and information, full-screen immersive apps, and built-in malware resistance, strong authentication, and data encryption, Windows 8 provides a great experience along with a more secure and manageable platform.

The security features of Windows 8 are highly convincing. The antivirus engine with improved detection and removal abilities; a new password manager; integration with the Windows Update API for better operating system-level vulnerability detection; and the ability to shut down the computer after a scan are some of the highlighting features of Windows 8. As there is a multicore processor support, the installation of software is expected to be very quick with few screens to process through; and better system performance during on-demand scans.

In Windows 8, Microsoft has introduced a new printer driver architecture, which is call version 4, or v4. The v4 architecture produces smaller, faster printer drivers, and it supports the idea of a print class driver framework--a system that allows people to install their printers without having to locate a driver for that device, as in many cases.

To provide the best browsing experience Internet Explorer 10 is designed to make website interaction fast and fluid for touch as well as for heavy mouse and keyboard use. With IE10, websites participate in the Metro style experience in Windows 8, including the Start screen, charms, snap, and more. IE10 also provides the best protection from malicious software on the web while providing convenient control over your online privacy.

The Predictions:

As a report says Metro references will also take on the new term, with "Metro user interface" morphing to "Windows 8 user interface" and "Metro design" changing to "Windows 8 design. Also it may take some time to get familiar with new start menu but, as per my guess most of us will get used to the new Start menu as well because it is fairly simple. According to the research team at CyberMedia, the touch oriented handling of the operating system is going to have some issues. For the complete functionality of the touch gestures and the operating system, user will need a touchpad or touch screen interface. Hence, upgrading from your current Windows 7 will not be a good idea, unless you are using touch devices. The new operating system will not be a compelling upgrade considering the current number of touch devices being used.

Another set of problems that can arise is when the system is upgraded in old systems. Though even a computer with Intel Atom processor and 1GB RAM can run the operating system, if you attempt to run the same, your experience won’t be as impressive.

In Windows 8, Microsoft indeed has created a very good product for challenging Apple on their tablet turf, but while doing it they've left the door open for others to come in and reclaim the desktop space. So keeping our fingers crossed, let’s watch what’s next by the giant “Microsoft”.

Topics: Microsoft Windows 8 Internet Explorer 10 Windows 8 Technology

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