A comparison of Windows 8 Preview with Its Predecessors [top features]

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Microsoft has unveiled its Windows 8 Developer Preview that is a pre – beta model of its upcoming OS. This Windows 8 Developer preview is available for direct download from its website free to all who are willing to try out its new features and test its effectiveness. We have done the same and here is a concise report of how it felt to use Windows 8 Developer Preview in comparison with its predecessors.

The Metro Interface

Drawing its inspiration from a display board at metro terminal in King County, Seattle, this Windows 8 has a display similar to the sign board with large lettered headings that draw one’s attention and have other text running off the page. One can select each option individually, can arrange them in any order that he chooses and it does not affect the working of this system. This appearance makes the screen look more like a tablet and it is an aim of Windows to create an OS that is tablet friendly. Another great feature is that if one is not interested in having a Metro interface, he can switch back to the old windows type of display and these two options come as applications on Windows 8.

Windows 8 Metro UI

Wider range of applications

Windows is testing the application market with few well-chosen applications to begin with. These applications can make connectivity with the internet very simple just like Apple applications do for a Mac today. One example of an application developed by windows, allows a person to view his work on the entire screen without diversions like tool bar and menu bars. This application allows working with ARM, X86 and X64 platforms too, so that sharing of files and searches can be performed efficiently both on thin slates and on large monitors as well.

Currently the only developers of applications for Windows 8 are Windows developers themselves, but in future, they are all set to add on more developers from the open market, who can develop more target based applications just like it is available for Apple’s products today.

Activation waived for testers

Windows has not placed any kind of precincts like activation keys for those who wish to download and test its Windows 8 Developer Preview. This gives it the advantage that more people are willing to download it to test its effectiveness and report on various changes and modifications that can be made on it upcoming product. This can be interpreted as a superior product as hundreds of people all around the world have reviewed it. One must bear it in mind that no activation key is only for the testing of Windows 8 and that when its final product is released it will definitely have an activation key.

Booting and getting ready to go

Windows 8 seems to boot much faster than its predecessors with its boot time being between 5 and 10 seconds. This cannot be achieved with legacy systems that have hard disks spinning to boot up, and it requires new hardware like solid-state drives than enable a switch like on – off booting system. if one runs Windows 8 on an existing system, the booting time is considerably faster but does not quite make it within its 10 second range.

Installation is quicker too and the Preview edition does not support any upgrades, which means that one can only install it as an addition to the already existing boot. One requires a separate hard disk with up to 25 GB free space on it if he requires a dual boot for Windows 8 Developer Preview.

External ports

Windows 8 Developer support a USB 3.0 and this implies very quick copying and sharing of data between the main computer and the connected device.

Additional tools

Power users are those who perform heavy-duty functions on their computer and Window 8 has a whole range of tools to help such users. There is a new kind of task manager that shows performance, Processes, Application history and other details on separate tabs. Windows 8 has a single dashboard for controlling all other features like real time summary graphs and all other applications that are open on the computer, by means of colour codes for easy identification.

Refresh and reset feature

Resetting a computer to its factory setup currently takes up to 3 hours with the latest fully fledged version of Windows – Windows 7. However, with Windows 8, one goes back to factory setup within 20 minutes and this is excellent time to go back to just – shipped status. This is a very great leap in terms of time consumed from its predecessors, which could consume a few hours to do this.

Its Refresh feature keeps all user data intact and yet refreshes the system, similar to hitting a refresh command on other Windows systems of today.

Interface like a ribbon

Usually Windows comes with a ribbon interface only on its main screen, but with Windows 8, all applications have a ribbon interface including its Internet Explorer.

IE 10

Internet Explorer 10 has been incorporated into Windows 8 in Metro mode and this makes browsing a very fluid experience, similar to that provided by dedicated applications. IE 10 comes with enhanced security settings, faster hardware rates of acceleration and a very good HTML 5 support. IE 10 has an address bar situated at the base and it is visible only when one hovers his mouse over it.

Internet Explorer 10 in Windows 8

If one is interested in using older version look alike of IE, then it is available to be worked on through an application from the desktop.

Supporting monitors

Windows 8 allows one to spread his ware over multiple monitors from a single processor and this comes with a slide interface on a Metro layout so that one can easily access his different applications.

Integration with Skydrive and Windows Live

Windows Live allows a person to have an ID and online account with Windows so that one can access his video, audio and photo files present on his computer from anywhere on the earth through this internet account.

Social life with Twitter and Facebook

There are two metro applications for both Facebook and Twitter on the desktop of Windows 8 and one can log into these social websites directly through these applications.

On the whole, there are many bugs that Windows has to fix before they can release Windows 8, but it is a great product that can be awaited with much expectation.

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The author is the founder of eches.net. He was brought up and is currently living in a small town at the northernmost of Malaysia.