By Kevin Nave , Chiprang.com Guest Staff Right, so where to start. Microsoft has slowly rolled out the new versions of windows 8 in st...
By Kevin Nave, Chiprang.com Guest Staff
Right, so where to start. Microsoft has slowly rolled out the new versions of windows 8 in stages for developers and the general public to test. I was lucky enough to be involved from the very start with the developer preview.
Windows 8 Developer Preview
The Windows 8 Developer Preview was Microsoft's first edition of their Windows 8 Development and well....it was horrific. Extremely buggy and I had to install it within a virtual pc environment for fear of it destroying my laptop. In all fairness to them it wasn't as bad as I originally thought it would have been. It gave us the first sign of what it will look like, how it will run and what we should expect from the future versions. What I saw surprised me, they've completely moved away from the original windows environment and gone for a more xbox feel of the "dashboard" which has replaced the start menu. You do have the option the see the stereotypical windows desktop, which is exactly the same as we all know and love. To be honest the only real was the dashboard which also changed some of the layout on how to find things and made it very difficult to work. Like I said it was very buggy they had added in features like video, music, xbox link etc. Unfortunately for me in the UK this didn't work as according to the Microsoft technology blog these features weren't available in the UK.
Windows 8 Consumer Preview
This was where the magic happened. This came out admittedly quite a while after the developer preview but wow was it worth the wait. They had fixed all the bugs within the dashboard with tiles crashing and stuff generally not working. They made the layout a lot more user friendly and generally made it look a lot nicer.
- New User Login - You now link your login to your windows live account. This gives you the option to use your live account password or a 4 digit pin. This also pulls through your avatar, automatically sets up the email but also links directly with xbox live if it's set up with that account. Completely walking all over apples id motion and kind of stealing the Google Account Method of linking everything with 1 id but a extremely clever way to doing it.
- New restoring function - This is something quite close to my heart. With being a developer and general geek I do quite a lot on my laptop which causes stuff to break on a regular basis. They have included within the control panel a option to refresh your operating system. You can perform a new install, restore or fix and it works brilliantly. It's fast quick and simply 3 words I never thought I'd say about this kind of feature within windows.
- Family restriction - Something for the parents out there. This allows you to set time limits within all users within the computer. So if you have a child which has a habit of waking up and going on the computer...not anymore. You can set a specific time frame for which the child can be on the pc. You can even set settings to ensure they are only on safe stuff - no terrorism, porn and other sensitive material.
- Windows To Go - This is my favourite feature so far. This allows you to create a windows bootable usb with all your features, programs, settings...well everything. As a online marketing consultant this is absolutely brilliant I'm never in the same place or anything and being able to have that on my keys means I'm never without my files. It's perfect!
- The rest of the changes have been made to architecture such as hyper v virtualisation, shorter boot times basically the stuff we would expect from a new windows os.
- You do also have the dashboard layout which is very much xbox feel and windows phone feel. Best way to describe is the picture below.
In conclusion I would say that windows 8 should a raging success to windows. Not in the way Windows 7 was a "success" but they have covered everything in the way they should have done last time. They have covered the parental issues and targeted parents, they have covered companies especially large ones with the shorter boot times and ability to move their files and os around with ease. I really hate to say it but windows are definitely on to something with this os. Admiditly the new titled layout is a bit extreme but hey ho digital age and all.