Windows 8

Posted: Friday, 17 July 2015 @ 14:44
Microsoft has yet again managed to get everyone in the technology world whispering to each other about their latest announcement, Windows 8. A beta version of the new operating system from the tech giants has been made available to developers and many enthusiasts have been using and testing the product recently.

When Windows 8 was first revealed in September 2010, it was speculated that this build was a fake due to the resemblance to its predecessor. We now know that this is not the case as there are many similarities between the two operating systems.

The Windows 8 Consumer Preview made its debut on 29th February 2012, adding a few features and bug fixes to the Developer Previews that came out earlier this year. The biggest change in Windows 8 is its Metro UI. This new user interface is designed to unify the tablet and desktop experience, providing a familiar interface across devices.

Metro has received positive & negative feedback since its release to the public. Many consumers believe the Program icons are too large for a Desktop PC. Other comments include the small amount space on screen and ease of use. Many tech enthusiasts believe that the Metro UI doesn’t belong on a desktop. A better idea may be to scale down icon sizes, get rid of the sliding lock screen, and optimize it further for non-touch screen devices. Windows 8 comes packed with many noteworthy features, like native USB 3.0 support, a new task manager, and new advanced hibernation functionality, labeled ‘Hybrid boot’.

The introduction of Windows 8 brings a number of new features to the forefront, but quite a big feature has been withdrawn from the new version of windows, or at least the consumer preview: the Start Menu. This has caused a stir since the Start Menu has been part of windows for 17 years, and has been the handy shortcut to everything, accessible from everywhere.

The start menu has not totally disappeared in Windows 8, in the sense that you hover over the bottom left corner, a large black preview box appears labeled ‘Start’ and then a click will take you to the Metro UI. This is quite obviously tablet optimization, as it would be quite difficult navigating through the old start menu with your finger, and I think having Metro as ‘Start’ is a really good idea for tablets. But like I said before, this is just too big and clumsy for the precision mouse pointers, and makes navigating between applications hard work, as you are constantly moving all over the screen.

As of last week, there have been 4 versions of Windows 8 announced:

Windows 8 Standard – This version of Windows may prove to be the most popular, due to it’s low price. It will ship with Laptops and Home PC’s by default.

Windows 8 Pro - Windows 8 Pro is aimed at businesses and professional or technically minded users. This version includes many extra features and is going to be used in SMB’s as the standard, due to its ability to become part of a windows domain.

Windows 8 RT (ARM Devices) - RT is a very basic version that will exclude many features to make it slim enough to run on low powered ARM tablet devices. RT is set to bring a basic version of office as standard.

Windows 8 Enterprise - Windows 8 Enterprise is the most recent version to be announced, aimed at large businesses that includes all the features of Windows 8 Pro, plus IT management tools like deployment and virtualisation. This version will not be available to the general public.
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