Have you been reading or taking notice of the upcoming release of Windows 8 scheduled for late October? Of course, no one has to upgrade, but there’s an enticing deal (listed below), for early adopters. You could purchase the software, but not install it to take advantage of the deal. If you’re adventurous or an early adopter, you probably know about the Release Preview which you can get now. The RTM (release to manufacturer) is expected next month, so it’s getting very close.
I’ve been scanning both Microsoft and enthusiast’s blogs to gather information you may be interested in. You’ve probably been hearing about ‘Metro’ – below is an image of the new look of your Windows 8 desktop – it’ll contain tiles of your favorite and most used ‘Apps’. Yes, Windows 8 is optimized for touch, but you still will be able to use your mouse.
Read on for major changes and features. If there’s something you want to know that’s not covered, leave a comment and I’ll see if I can find out for you.
- Boot time of 8 seconds
- Get to the Start screen by pointing your mouse to the upper-right corner of the screen and clicking the Start charm. Or you can use the Windows key to go to Start.
- A ‘Charm’ is something new being implemented. When you point your mouse to the upper-right corner, a vertical list of icons will appear on the right. One for Search, Share, Start, Devices and Settings.
- Hardware requirements are the same as with Windows 7.
- For the most part, you should be able to use your current programs in Windows 8. As I understand it, your computer will be scanned for program compatibility before Windows 8 is installed.
- Metro style interface – like windows 7 phones with live tiles (the tiles move and update constantly).
- With Windows 8, you add apps, not programs. Excel will be an app, Outlook will be ‘Mail App’, and so on.
- Apps will be downloaded or purchased from the Windows Store.
- Optimized for mobile – tablets, phones–touch screen friendly. Yes, you can still use a mouse for non-touch units.
- No more Microsoft Security Essentials to download and install. Windows 8 will ship with antivirus software built into the OS.
- Parents can set up a user account for each child and receive a graphical weekly report that details their activity (sites visited, searches made, apps used, etc.). Many other options available for parents to limit computer time and web filtering.
- There will be a tweaked version of windows 7 called desktop available on demand in the new operating system – both systems can run at the same time and even on the same screen.
- Lowest upgrade price in history from Microsoft – $40 to upgrade for anyone on XP-Windows 7. This special pricing ends January 31, 2013. This applies to software download only.
- No Media Center in Windows 8 (however, if you purchase the $40 upgrade mentioned above, you can ‘purchase’ the Windows Media Center add-in pack for free.
Settings vs. Control Panel
Settings is one of the new ‘Charms’ mentioned earlier. This will replace the current Control Panel. It will take some getting used to, won’t it?
Use Keyboard Shortcuts?
Do you use keyboard shortcuts to keep your hands on the keyboard? You may want to become familiar with some for Windows 8. Keyboard shortcuts help users quickly and efficiently get to settings search results (WIN key + W) or file search results (WIN key + F) are just a couple. Check out this link for more.
We’ll be hearing more about Windows 8 as the next few months go by. Do you think there’ll be a big rush to get it?