Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Windows 8

Windows 8 will contain a new user interface based on Microsoft's design language named Metro. With the new change, the Start Menu was replaced in favor for the new Start Screen, where there are tiles that contain shortcuts to applications, Metro style applications, and updating tiles, similar to Windows Phone.
A new authentication method allows users to sketch in three different places over the picture to login, instead of typing a password.
Windows Explorer now uses a ribbon interface, similar to those used in Microsoft Office applications.
Another feature expected to be introduced in Windows 8 is USB 3.0 support.

Windows 8 will come with Windows Store, an online marketplace for buying, selling, and advertising applications.
Windows 8 can be run from a USB-connected drive, such as a flash drive. This feature is called Windows To Go.
Windows 8 will support multiple monitors with the new ability to natively display different background images on each display and customized taskbar(s) on each of the connected displays.
The Developer Preview comes with two new recovery functions. Refresh and Reset, which both make a complete restore easier than a re-installation. The former keeps all the settings and files of the user intact and only reverses all changes to Windows files to its original state while removing all installed programs and apps. The latter deletes all files and effectively re-installs Windows, but without any additional user input such as agreeing to license agreements or selecting a hard disk required. After a reset completes, the user will be asked for the product key and will then proceed to account creation.
One big change is that user accounts do not have to be local-only (or from an Active Directory domain) anymore but can be linked up to one's Windows Live ID. This has the advantage that users will not lose their settings and files as they move from their home computer to their work laptop or to any other computer also using Windows 8.
Other new features include a new Welcome screen, a new packaged application model called AppX that is based on Silverlight, and Open Packaging Conventions, as well as a setting to automatically adjust window color to fit the wallpaper.
There is also a stripped down "Immersive" version of Internet Explorer, using the similar Metro-based user interface of the mobile version of Internet Explorer 9. The Immersive Version of Internet Explorer 10 does not support ActiveX plugins, in order to be an HTML5-only browser. The Desktop version of IE10 does support ActiveX plugins.
A new "Hybrid Boot" option that uses "advanced hibernation functionality" on shutdown to allow faster startup times.
A new version of Task Manager with a re-designed user interface is also present in pre-release versions of Windows 8.
Microsoft has not yet announced a ship date for Windows 8.