View Full Version : Top 20 Windows 8 Features
05-19-2012, 12:43 PM
PC World and Info World (http://www.pcworld.com/article/255727/top_20_windows_8_features.html#tk.hp_fv)list what they believe are the top 20 Windows 8 features.
05-19-2012, 09:24 PM
Fantastic slide show, Ted!
We have much to look forward to with Windows 8 (in the fall), probably even more than Windows 7 offers. There's a definite learning curve over previous Windows versions, but with Windows 8 RP coming out soon, we can get most of that behind us.
Also noteworthy was the last part of the show, it's very possible that some XP users can move forward to Windows 8, especially those who has purchased recently made video cards for gaming. The other specs, many computers has anyway.
Which brings up another point, Windows 8's exceptional power management. There were many low spec Windows 7 computers sold, that makes the OS feel heavy. My desktop is one of those, running Windows 7, my CPU hits 80% fast, & hardly falls below 60%. Windows 8 CP fixed that, now my average CPU usage is less than 30%. These computers are great candidates for moving forward to Windows 8, the system will be more responsive, use less power (this will also prolong battery life) & be more enjoyable/productive to use.
Windows 7 could fall almost as fast as it rose, if more users would read the good of Windows 8 & ignore the bad rap that the competition inspired media has given it. Some reports has stated that Windows 8 will not catch on until 2014. Take these with a grain of salt & go on.
Windows 8 will end up being a great OS, proving that MS still has a lot of innovation, & is surrounded with great talent. If there's anything that MS needs, it's a leader with the mindset of Steve Jobs. One who could convince Windows users that they "need" Windows 8 (& subsequent releases), that it's a "must have" OS, & begin to cut support on the old as soon as the new is released. That may sound harsh, but MS is a corporation out to make money & meet the modern needs of it's customers at the same time, "in with the new & out with the old" applies here.
Although Windows 7 Pro x64 is my main OS, & still on the HDD's that they both came on, I'm already seeing it as a step backwards every time I boot into it. The same old Start Menu (w/a facelift) since Win 95. As I recall it, this was the same for many when Windows 7 Beta & RC came out, booting into the old seemed like two steps in reverse. Hopefully, this will be the way for everyone who tries out the upcoming Windows 8 RP in June.
Windows 8 will sell, and it won't take until 2014 to get a slice of the pie.
05-19-2012, 10:51 PM
I am in support of the majority of the following posts in that article. I am looking, deliberately, at Windows 8 with a cynical eye. It helps to keep my feet on the ground when testing. I will move on to Windows 8, but could not recommend its mass purchase to companies, who are already happy with Windows 7. To them, the advantage of the Metro is only as an alternative menu. Having "touched" the required program, in most cases I cannot see secretaries etc, getting up much speed tryin to type letters on a desktop keyboard? Or accountants trying to get their fat fingers on to those tiny columns!
2. The most controversial - The touch Screen.
3. Traditional Desktop? Not at all. Surely if it is "traditional", it should have the most glaring feature the "Start" globe(menu)
4. As in 2.
5. Windows Store. A newly introduced way to download software. Other ways have existed for years.
6. Tablet ready. As in 2.
7. IE10. ? Is this a "Special" feature of Windows 8?
8. Touch interface. As in 2.
9. Skydrive. Not a particular feature, again, of Windows 8.
10. Charms bar. Only a graphical eye candy move, and change in navigational procedure. Could easily be implemented in Windows 7
11. Search bar - No comment.
12. Snap feature. I find the multi tasking ability of Windows 7 more convenient and easy to use.
13. Recovery. Yes. Convenient to use. The offe is available in legacy OSs, but has to be readied through a command prompt. (A shortcut could be made)
14. Simplified settings. Nice to have it all under one umbrella, but it is all avaiolable, mostly through the Control Panel, in Windows 7.
15. Storage spaces. There are several third party examples that do the same thing in Windows 7. I still prefer an external drive for safe storage.
16. File History. Called Volume Shadow copy in Windows 7.
17. Ribbon Bar.Far too over the top for most windows. I use a hack to return Windows explorer to the legacy view, for example.
18. Windows Reader. Yes. About time. But why do Windows 7 users still wait for the implementation. Once Acrobat start waving their swords, it'll probably be withdrawn anyway!
19. Video Player? We already have one?
20. Social networking? No comment.
21. Reduced hardware requirements.PCworld's own comment says it all: "Perhaps one of the most important features for many users is actually having the ability to run the operating system. Machines that run Windows 7 and Windows Vista already meet the hardware requirements for Windows 8, and many systems running Windows XP will also be eligible to run the latest OS.
My performance figures have not, unfortunately, been as exciting as many seemed to have experienced. This is on an older computer, dual booting with Windows 7 boot manager, to avoid the built in delay with Windows 8 manager.All software and startup sequences are precisely the same.
I am not claiming these as authorative benchmarking .- just my own tests, out of curiosity.
Windows 7 Windows 8
Start-up (Bios to useable desktop/Metro inc Internet connectionan cessation of HD activity.).
43 secs 41.5 secs
Open IE to Google
1.2 secs 1.1 secs
Open IE to webpage
4.4 secs 4.2 secs
Open LIve Mail (No Mail tocollect, inc Live login)
5.2 secs 5.4 secs
1.0 secs 1.2 secs
Control Panel .
2 secs . 4 secs
05-20-2012, 06:37 AM
I agree with most of what Dave posted. I've got a good solid Windows 7 install and don't see anything that exciting for the very small performance increase. I switched from Vista to Windows 7 because the performance was noticeably better. I can work around the Metro but find it an annoyance since there was nothing there I wanted to use. I hope the apps are now finished and actually work in the next release.
05-20-2012, 06:44 AM
I suspect we will see a marked increase in Metro app performance with Win 8 RP. This is where I believe the major changes will take place. I just hope some of the little irritations we have reported have been corrected with the Desktop UI as this is where many of us spend our time.
Perhaps some additional work with updated drivers, although I believe this relies a lot on device manufacturers and I am not sure how much time they are spending on updated drivers yet.
05-20-2012, 06:53 AM
On the driver issue a lot of the people are really using old hardware on XP and nobody is going to bother making drivers for stuff 5-10 years old. Look at the number of posts for Windows 7 with driver problems for things like printers and old software. It will be compounded jumping from XP to Windows 8. A lot of people think just adding a little ram will fix everything. A lot of these people with XP didn't even have a high end machine when it was new.
05-20-2012, 06:57 AM
You are right, there are times you just have to break down and upgrade devices. Although Win 8 CP has resurrected some pretty old hardware, you can only expect so much. And you are right, device manufacturers don't necessarily want these old devices to work. After all they rely on selling new devices.
05-20-2012, 09:37 PM
One major issue with older computers will be chipset drivers for Windows 8 (CP, RP & Retail). Without this driver, there are going to be serious issues, such as being able to sleep or hibernate. Note that this was also an issue with Windows 7.
Same with older printers, trackballs & other ancient hardware. Many trackball users were stopped in their tracks with Windows 7, so were many printers. Only XP Mode (available on Pro & up) saved the day for this hardware. There were also some instances where downgrading to 32 bit Windows 7 would allow these devices to run, due to it's 16 bit support.
But why the bother? I have two 64 bit computers, bought as new, & I have no intentions to downgrade to a 32 bit version of Windows (or Linux) to run Clinton-era hardware & software. There is a world of difference between the two bit versions, one that will be likely discussed heavily on this forum, mainly right before Windows 8's Retail release, and 2 to 4 months afterwards. Mainly the "should I buy 32 or 64 bit" threads. This was a major topic when Win 7 was released, I expect no difference with Win 8, especially from those moving forward from Vista & XP.
It's time for those with printers that were designed for Win 98, Me, 2000, to step forward & buy a new one, same with other external hardware. Recent printers/other hardware that was designed for Windows 7/Vista & is XP SP3 compatible, may work fine, especially the newer ones.
However, it would be best to wait until Windows 8 is actually Retail before buying anything, as we all should have another OS to boot into. A month afterwards would be best. That way, the hardware we buy will more likely be labeled as "Designed for Windows 8", "Compatible with Windows 7". Not "Designed for Windows 7", as the device will likely operate with limited function (HP is terrible for this). It will probably do basic printing (& possible scanning tasks from the printer itself), but it's full OEM designed functions are less likely to work, in particular photo work.
There is a world of difference in "Designed for Windows 8" & "Windows 8 Compatible". Hopefully, the OEM's of these devices has already halted production of any devices designed for older OS's, so that once Windows 8 becomes Retail, most of the retail stock will be labeled "Designed for Windows 8", with slim pickings for the rest. After all, at that point, Windows 8 will be the current OS, the computers will have Win 8 pre-installed on them, the hardware may as well be also.
This will serve 2 purposes, one of which I've already stated, the other is very limited backwards compatibility. Any Windows OS below Windows 7, or Vista SP2 at the most, would not be able to run the device, in effect, forcing the user to upgrade their OS/computer, or buy used/recycled accessories to work with.
That may be fine for some home users, but for business use, it would be a devastating blow that would in essence, force an upgrade to Windows 7 at the least. Many businesses, even medical practices, especially those who are specialists in a certain area, such as heart/lung/liver/colon & cancer centers, are still using XP computers & matching software to determine the state of our health.
Is it a wonder why these doctors with their ancient imaging methods (though the equipment looks brand new in many) are misdiagnosing their patients, giving them a clean bill of health, when they may be very sick? Small (& some large) tumors, as well as heart issues are often missed, this is a blown opportunity to save a patient's life, as well as an unnecessary loss to the family that's left behind.
Mostly because these professions are still running XP Pro? That's exactly what the one who performed the ultrasound (echo) of my heart last year was using, as I was peeking at the monitor & seen the XP Start Menu. Windows 7 was already at SP1 by then. It's time for the AMA to get behind this practice & require it's members to run modern computers for imaging/diagnostic tests, or lose membership. That would do great harm to their practice, as many patients wants to see that certificate on the wall in the exam room.
Windows 8 would probably offer a lot to the medical profession, as many specialists uses tablets anyway, & would be the way to go come October, especially those still stuck on XP based PC's. They're going to have a learning curve anyway, why not make it the latest?
I see Windows 8 as one that will climb the charts fast, and possibly knocking Windows 7 out of fully reaching it's potential (eclipsing the success of XP, which had peaked at 76.1% in January 2007). With a newer version of Windows firmly in place, Windows 7 will never reach the mark of being installed on such a huge percentage of all computers on the entire planet.
Windows XP - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_XP)
I know oft ppl don't like that I come straight to the point...
And I know I've said this before but...
Ppl have got to stop getting so hung up over the blasted 'Metro' Start screen. I say this for 2 reasons. (1) It is not the big deal y'all are treating it. There is, still, a Desktop & there is the choice whether to work, live & work from there ( a happy place for traditionalists)… I, honestly, really, never use or visit Win8 Start... there's no need. (2) The entirety of Windows8 is not or does not lie w/ Start... ppl have got to stop having the rest of the OS masked & go unappreciated due to an obsession w/ (the meaningless) Start. There's a hell of a lot to the OS besides that Start screen!
As for Enterprise & Win8... yep, there's a hell of a difference between the view & needs, usage & wants of End Users vs Enterprise w/ computers. And yes, much of Enterprise will likely stay w/ 7 for quite a while, but, not all & not forever. That said, a huge amount of the new or enhanced Features & under-the-covers technology in Windows8 are/were directed towards Enterprise. Things that don't & wouldn't even matter to home users. There are many testimonials, already, from Enterprise environments testing Windows8 that are favorable, including helpful ways they can use Metro Apps (for their specific, individual needs). The way Windows8 lends itself to mobile applications, as the complexion of the workforce landscape is evolving makes it, further, appealing to Enterprise.
One must look & think beyond the surface & beyond what seems like just flashy bells & whistles. Our workplace is changing, society & culture is changing, kindergarten kids can run computing circles around many of us, work, entertainment, fun, Internet surfing, communication is all being conducted & carried about in our hand. New versions of Windows get released on a 3 year cycle. Time & technology march on & maybe in some sort of step w/ the other changes taking place on this planet over time. It's not just another Windows, just another OS, for the hell of it... like it or not, accept it well or not stay in the past or not, things trudge on w/ or w/out you. And it's not just a mystical new or unneeded, glitzy OS... it is a big step towards where the future of computing is going.... for young & old, home & work. Soon the din will ebb will few will, even, remember pages of forums filled w/ Windows8 Start screen bashing.
PS: Cat, as of mid-September 2011 Windows7 had surpassed XP.
05-21-2012, 03:03 AM
". There's a hell of a lot to the OS besides that Start screen! "
"There are many testimonials, already, from Enterprise environments testing Windows8 that are favorable"
Could you point me to a few? It is not out yet, only to internal testers. Not sure? Are you referring to the future Windows 8 Enterprise or, more broadly, enterprise testing? -
"yep, there's a hell of a difference between the view & needs, usage & wants of End Users vs Enterprise w/ computers. " - Wish I could understand that - failed. But there are, to my knowledge, no significant differences. Only three inclusions, two currently available in Windows 7.
Your last para has little meaning in the context of the thread. No one is "staying in the past" when they analyse, from their own point of view, the advantages and disadvantages of a touch screen - The singular feature of Windows 8 which is new. You have stated yourself, Many times, that you bypass the Metro and work on the desktop. Like many, you appear to be in denial regarding the main feature of Windows 8.
"things trudge on w/ or w/out you" - Yes.
Not denial! I am trying to convey the point to ppl that it is silly getting all worked up over the Win8 Start screen since there is choice to use it, use it partially or not @ all. That screen does not need to be viewed as a problem or obstacle to Windows8. I did not imply I am avoiding it cus I hate it which, I don't but, rather, for convenience, I don't have to use it... I may use APPs, that have Tiles on it but, I, just, don't need to go to it anytime I want to go to 1 of those APPs. Ppl are saying, "We want choice!" & all I'm saying is it's there... one is not forced to play in the Start screen or get upset about it.
I started learning about Windows8 @ & before BUILD in mid-September. There is a wealth of info available as to the features, obvious & under-the-covers, and the rational behind the design goals where one can discover the aspects that are geared toward Business (Enterprise) environments. To simplify the statement, because the 'fit' of a computer is different for Business than for Home, what is offered to & for each may be different.
An easy Search will bring up Features of Win8 & comparisons between flavours & to previous Windows OSs. The Start screen is ONE thing, not a "main feature"... thinking of it like that makes it tough for ppl to see beyond it or appreciate any other things w/in the OS.
Maybe much of it is attitude. One taking things in stride & as they are. Another of, "Oh, god, here goes MS, again, w/ another product that sucks". Maybe, it's just me that tries to see the good in things as well as the bad. Or I'm just needing to know this new OS for the sake of my customers.
I would appear to be more in "denial" were I trying to make Win8 look like XP. Just, if, one is going to end up on Desktop, anyway, seems cool to just be there rather than jump all about unnecessarily.
And, actually, there are "significant differences". Some are enhancements of things we already had, others are new. All this info is readily available for anyone to read, learn & discover, same as I did; some of which, this "Top 20" thing does not address.
Anyway, sorry, if, I worded things such that the point or my message seems hard to grasp as meant or intended.
05-21-2012, 08:16 PM
I can vouch for one example of where Windows 8 CP beats Windows 7 SP1, & that's the from the time I press the power button to having a usable desktop. Even with my low-spec PC, running a mechanical HDD (my specs are below), I have a fully usable desktop inside of a minute using Win 8 CP, while Win 7 SP1 takes a full 90-95 seconds to get there.
Both installs are on the same HDD, both runs the same 3 active security apps, ESET Smart Security 5 (this was paid for way before Windows 8 CP's release, & I'm not wasting a license), MBAM Pro & SAS Pro (both lifetime). Much of the same software is installed on both OS's, the major exception being an Office install. I didn't see the need for Office on a beta install, however I'll be trying out Office 2015 beta on Windows 8 RP in June, as both are expected to be out then.
And the thing is, Windows 8 CP performs this well on my PC & it's only in it's infancy. Just wait until the mature version arrives, hopefully another 5-10 seconds will be shaved off startup times.
The touchscreen & lack of a "legacy" Start Menu is not holding me back, I have a faster PC, especially considering it's specs, along with a more modern, up to date, in tune with the times OS. For those who wants the classic Start menu, I have no doubt that there will be developers who will cater to this, as well as having XP, Vista & Win 7 "skins".
And I still contend that those who are presently using XP & Vista, particularly XP users, there's going to be a learning curve anyway, why not buy the latest this fall? I just cannot justify buying a new computer running a almost 3 year old OS that will lose mainstream support in less than 3 years. Yes, on January 12, 2015, Windows 7 is going to be in the same boat that XP's in as of this moment, & still no SP2 in sight, with time rapidly running out on support of SP1 (SP's are supported for 24 months after release, not the date of install). MS hasn't even hinted at a SP2 beta release date.
Microsoft Product Lifecycle Search (http://support.microsoft.com/lifecycle/search/default.aspx?sort=PN&alpha=Windows+7+Professional&Filter=FilterNO)
Windows lifecycle fact sheet - Microsoft Windows (http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/products/lifecycle#section_2)
Drew, I realized that Windows 7's usage has eclipsed XP's last year, but has a long way to go to top 76.1% of all installs on the planet's computers (that XP had in January 2007). That record had a shot at falling, but with the upcoming release of Windows 8 (& Mac's growth), it won't happen. If anything, it's very possible that Windows 7 usage may drop before it had the chance to peak, as there was still plenty of room for growth for that OS, probably double the current usage. Windows 7's usage will take a hit once Windows 8 becomes Retail, along with the rest of Windows OS's.
Usage share of operating systems - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Usage_share_of_operating_systems)
Windows 8 has a lot of great features & still the best is yet to come. The OS has also generated a lot of interest in this stage of development, even more than Windows 7 Beta did in 2009, twice as much, according to Microsoft.
Microsoft: Windows 8 usage over twice that of Windows 7 beta - Neowin (http://www.neowin.net/news/microsoft-windows-8-use-over-twice-that-of-windows-7-beta)
Very interesting indeed.
05-21-2012, 09:09 PM
Regarding only your first para, Cat. When booting, are you using the default Windows 8 manager? If so, there is, as I said, a built in delay. The new boot manager first loads Windows 8, almost to the point of login. If you then select your legacy OS, your computer will reboot into that OS. This naturally incurs a delay. I understand that this will not be the case with the RTM, and the boot application will be a choice at the commencement. That is why, in my post, I reinstalled the Windows 7 boot manager.
However, as it is an early release, benchmarks are worthless, and unreliable. Having said that, this is the most thorough I have found since the Consumer was made available:
Windows 8 Consumer Preview vs. Windows 7: Benchmarked | ZDNet (http://www.zdnet.com/blog/hardware/windows-8-consumer-preview-vs-windows-7-benchmarked/19927?pg=2)
Assuming these figures do not change (they could go either way!) I cannot see any real reason to open your wallet for the new OS, particularly from a company's point of view.
05-21-2012, 10:09 PM
davehc, the default OS that boots is Windows 7, when I boot into Windows 8 CP or XP MCE, I have to choose those manually. At first, I had the default Windows 8 CP boot manager handling things, but it was taking way too long to choose the other two, that reboot as you stated.
I agree with you that at this point, as was the case when Windows 7 was beta, benchmarks at this stage are not totally reliable, & shouldn't be depended on when considering a future purchase of Windows 8. However, the next beta (RP) is going to give us a lot more insight, especially around late summer.
But if the growing interest is an indicator, it looks as though Windows 8 will be a popular OS, at least for home users. Businesses almost always tend to run an OS behind, regardless of brand (Windows, Mac, Linux variants). Probably for a proven, stable OS that's well seasoned & the kinks are ironed out. Many businesses didn't even take Windows 7 seriously until SP1 was released, after that, many took the plunge.
It may very well be the same way with Windows 8. But one thing for sure, consumers won't have that choice, because most OEM's have all but shut down production of Windows 7 PC's, to have little inventory as possible, as PC sales tends to be slow with an upcoming Windows release. Some retailers, such as Best Buy, will install Windows 8 onto as much leftover stock as possible, this is what was done with my PC. It had Vista & Windows 7 was installed on it by HP. The giveaway that this was the case upon booting into the Recovery Manager, it showed the Vista startup screen (the row of green), rather than the four Windows symbols coming in.
Once I upgraded my HDD, I used the recovery disk set that I made, that Vista screen during booting into the Recovery Partition no longer shows, so HP was in a hurry to switch the leftover stock over.
Also, Cat, in a multi-boot scenario it can be set as to which OS will boot (1st), unless one moves (@ the choice screen) to another OS before allowing time for it to hit the 1st one (listed). The last OS installed will stay @ the top listing & the 1st @ the bottom, on the Choice screen, regardless of which, OS has been set to boot to, 'by default', so to speak.
I always fret about wording the above so it makes understandable sense. Prolly sounds more confusing than it really is, lol
There are or will be a few Early Adopters in Enterprise but, yes, the norm is they (companies) will be behind consumers... it's damned big deal for Enterprise to flip OSs. Some may wait til they are cycling their hardware & deploy the new OS @ the same time or do one or the other or both in stages.
Although, timelines may differ a bit this time, as there is a lot in Win8 that is/was geared specifically w/ Enterprise in mind. There are things in 8 Pro & higher that Enterprise find & will find handy & helpful for that environment. Interested consumers, I suggest fall into 4 realms... those who just need a new computer & get Win8 sorta by default, those who just wanna be contemporary, those who see a WOW factor & gotta have it & those who don't get what the heck an OS is or why anyone would bother w/ any new one... You know, like the ppl who phone me & when I ask, "What operating system is it?" they answer, "HP or Dell, I think".
And, I said this before, even to you, Cat, I think... what I heard of Win8 since, @ least BUILD in mid- September is proving to be 100% correct. It is fast, certainly, boot is faster, it will run nicely on older & non-robust gear & it absolutely uses less system resources, it's graphics are beautiful, compatibility is vast & aside from cosmetics, there are some worthwhile Features & improvements for both Home Users & especially for Enterprise.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 4.1.10 Copyright © 2013 vBulletin Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved.
SEO by vBSEO