New Features of Microsoft Windows 8

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The Windows 8 from Microsoft brings the company into the cutting edge of computing. Microsoft has completely overhauled the OS making it more visually appealing and adding new features that will make the Windows platform relevant today and in the future. Here we will share some of the new features of the Windows 8 OS.

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Windows 8 Start Screen


A Touch Centric UI

Windows 8 is built from the ground up for touch. The start screen is made up of rectangular windows called tiles used for accessing apps. Microsoft favoured tiles over icon because tiles are a larger in size hence easier to manipulate with the fingers on touchscreen devices.

With touch gestures you can perform varying tasks on Windows 8. Although Windows 8 is touch-centric it can still be comfortably used with non-touch devices with the good old mouse and keyboard. Its touch centric nature means Windows 8 tablets will be flooding the market soon.

No Start Button, but a Start Screen

Microsoft is doing away with the familiar start button at the lower left corner of the screen of previous Windows OS in Windows 8. In its place Microsoft is offering a start screen made-up of tiles each giving you access to a different application, task, or collection of files.

The start button used to be the Window to all applications, services, and files on your PC. In Windows 8, the start screen is.

A hidden desktop

Previous Windows editions boots to the desktop, Windows 8 don’t. Now the desktop is in the background, accessible only when you need it. One way of accessing the desktop is through the new Charms feature. You will need desktop to run your normal desktop applications. Note that the desktop is completely absent in Windows 8 RT.

A Modern UI with live Tiles

Windows 8 features a modern UI built for touch first. Applications and collection of files are now presented as dynamic tiles. The tiles can be moved around or resized to your taste. The tiles are also live so you can see the latest weather update from your weather app or latest updates from your friends on your social app without having to open the app.

The new charms feature also enables you easily and speedily access and interact with applications, files, and devices connected to your computer. Manipulating the settings on your PC is now a lot simpler as well.

A Lock Screen

Windows 8 boots to the lock screen. The lock screen comprises of a wallpaper with information like the date and time displayed. To unlock the screen and access the start screen you need to login with your password. You can also login with picture password in Windows 8.

Cloud Support

Windows 8 is built for the cloud. Your live tiles regularly get updates from the cloud to provide you with latest weather data, latest emails, and latest social interactions without any action from you. Windows 8 is integrated with SkyDrive Microsoft’s cloud storage solution.

With Windows 8, you can sync almost every of your data to the cloud like your files, photos, videos, and documents. This means you can access your data from any Windows 8 device from anywhere once you login. In fact, Windows 8 enables you sync your settings so you can change devices but still maintain your familiar settings. Windows 8 is also integrated with Skype enabling you make video and voice calls via the cloud.

Windows Store

Microsoft has built a store for Windows 8. At the Windows Store users can download free or paid applications and software for Windows 8. According to Microsoft the Windows Store is available in 231 markets.

Of course there are a lot more features in Windows 8, in fact over 300 new features. As you use Windows 8 you will notice it is faster, more secure, and more power efficient than previous Windows. Feel free to share all the new features you have discovered in Windows 8.

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Paschal Okafor is NaijaTechGuide Team Lead. The article New Features of Microsoft Windows 8 was written by Paschal Okafor. The article was last modified: August 30th, 2021
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