Microsoft recently introduced Windows 8 to be used on personal computers, this includes business use in the workplace as well as home use on desktops, tablets, notebooks and home theatre personal computers. Microsoft windows started developing Windows 8 even before Windows 7 was not introduced to the world, in 2009. After introducing three pre-release versions of windows 8 from September 2011 to May 2012, its existence was proclaimed at CES 2011 (Consumer Electronics Show 2011). This operating system got released on August 1, 2012 for manufacturing, and it was made available for general use on October 26, 2012. It uses Windows NT kernel 6.2 version. It is developed by the Microsoft Corporation and introduced substantial changes to the Windows operating system program. A significant change is that it seems focused more towards improved user experience on devices like tablets and touch screen devices, maybe in order to compete with other Operating Systems like iOS from Apple and Androids OS. It has a shell based on Microsofts Metro, that features a new Start screen with a Charms Bar at the side of the screen and a grid that dynamically updates Tiles that are used as the representation of applications. This screen replaced the taskbar and the typical Windows Start screen present in earlier versions of Windows. This platform has put the emphasis on input from a Touch Screen and introduces the new Windows Store that is used to find Apps that can be bought or downloaded and installed to be executed on the OS.
Windows 8 use of New Technology
The new OS took advantage of new and rising technologies such as 4Kn HDD technology, near field device communications, USB 3.0 ports, cloud computing, and the ARM (Advanced RISC Machines architecture [RISC is a system that stands for Reduced Instruction Set Computing]). New security features are introduced, like an inherent Antivirus capability, new installation procedure optimized for digital distribution, and secure boot (a ‘Unified Extensible Firmware Interface’ feature that requires a digital signature to forbid malware from varying the boot process). You can Sync various applications and settings among multiple devices via your Windows Account. No doubt the user response towards the Windows 8 security improvements, performance enhancements, and better support for Touch Screen devices was good, but the new user interface was criticised by some users for being more complicated and confusing, especially when a mouse and a keyboard was used in place of a Touch Screen. Even after these teething problems, 60 million licenses for Windows 8 have been sold by early 2013.
Sales and Demand Grows for Windows 8 OS
Upgrades and sales to PC and device manufacturers (OEMs) for the new OS to be shipped installed in new personal computers have been massive. When windows 8 was launched on October 26, it had a limited number of Windows Account Apps available, but the number grew quickly and is constantly growing as more people began using Windows 8 and the demand for the Apps grows. When a computer with windows 8 operating system is booted or woken up from hibernation, it presents the lock screen (where the users password is required to proceed) the same screen can be seen on a Windows 8 RT tablet. But the locked screen can be disabled in settings if you do not need this level of security, you also have the option arrange things in a different manner on the Metro Start screen, all you have to do is just click (or tap) on a tile and sweep it to a new position.
Whats New in Windows 8?
Many new functions and features were introduced in Windows 8 including a quicker start through a Unified Extensible Firmware interface (UEFI) and the fresh ‘Hybrid Boot’ mode (that hibernates the Windows kernel at the time of shutdown to accelerate the next boot), also a new welcome screen design with Apps, notifications and a clock. This is the largest change to the world of Windows Operating systems since the launch of Windows 95. It allows users to transfer data at a faster pace because it supports the latest USB 3.0 devices. It improved the power management and efficiency of use with many compatible devices you may wish to use. To facilitate communication and sharing between devices, it also supports near field communication that establish a communication medium between similar devices by touching or bringing them close to each other. In place of the command bar, a ribbon is introduced and File explorer is the new name introduced for Windows explorer. ‘File History’ is the new function that allows changes and revisions of files that need to be backed up and restored from some other external storage device. The Task manager is also restyled and includes a new processes tab to display further details of currently running Apps and background processes.
To validate the authenticity of the user, Windows 8 introduced new additional features for Touch Screens, namely a system whereby a user makes unique gestures on a Picture and numeric PIN passwords. Antivirus capabilities have been improved greatly, with the new ‘Secure Boot’ on UEFI systems for protection against malware that infects and changes the boot process. It uses a public-key infrastructure that verifies the unity of the OS and prevents unauthorized and unwanted programs from infecting the device. Incorporated ‘Family Safety’ software is also there for parental control that allows parents to keep an eye on children’s activities and to control or limit access.
Browser Support and Services
Extensive incorporation with online services from Microsoft and other providers is also provided in Windows 8. The online services provided by Microsoft can be nationally and regionally targeted by your location. The Web browser included in this package of Windows 8 is the latest Internet Explorer 10 that supports HTML5, CSS3, and hardware acceleration. ActiveX or plug-ins are not supported by this version of Internet Explorer and all though Adobe Flash Player is also included to optimize Touch Screen usage not all websites can use Flash when using in Metro Internet Explorer mode.
Windows Store And Apps
Windows 8 introduces the new ‘Windows Store’ that is used to find and download Apps to be executed on the OS. These Apps can either be executed in a full-screen mode as a Tile, or can be docked to the side of the screen. During the development of Windows 8, all the Apps in the ‘Windows Store’ were initially called Metro-style Apps that referred to the Metro design language used. Followed by references to names like “Modern UI-style Apps”, “Windows 8-style Apps” and “Windows Store Apps” in many of the Microsoft material and documents that referred to the Apps, but it was later confirmed that the official term to be used for these apps would be “Windows Store Apps“. The new user interface was completely based upon the Metro design language and featured a new Start screen with a completely new kind of Start menu which is very much similar to the Windows phone using Touch Screen compatible Tiles and a grid layout.