Microsoft is gearing up to roll out Windows 8 on October 26th and if the early tests are any indication, the computing giant’s latest operating system (OS) could change the face of cross-platform integration. There’s always some consternation among business owners when having to decide to outfit their computers with the newest OS so here are a few things you should know about Windows 8.
Windows 8 offers upgrades of some key features that are predominant in business applications. Windows 8 features a new graphic user interface (GUI) that is more in line with ones Android and Apple have been using then your typical Windows (more on this later). The “metro-style” GUI gets rid of the windows stand-by Start Menu which allows for an optimized interface in which to use touch screen devices such as smartphones and tablets.
While this will come in handy while you’re on the move, users that depend on the trusty-old keyboard and mouse for computing will not be left out in the cold. There is an option to turn off the Windows 8 GUI and revert to something that’s more similar to the Windows 7 interface. For users that use multiple monitor-displays a new feature is the ability to customize a taskbar on each screen. In the Windows 7 version there was only one available taskbar for multiple-monitor users.
Windows 8 promises faster performance as well. Some sources have it as much as 33% percent faster then Windows 7. Some reviewers have complained that the Windows 8 start-up is too fast because it doesn’t allow you to access the advanced options menu by mashing the F8 key before Windows begins. Now F8 mashers can access those advanced options through windows itself. Load time on a desktop or laptop with a solid state drive (SSD) is around seven seconds
The quick start-up is a logical step for Microsoft to take since they are looking to start offering hardware solutions that compete with Apple’s dominance of the tablet market. The Windows 8 based Surface Tablet is the device that Microsoft hopes will start them down the path toward competition with the iPad. Having been dependent on other manufacturers to produce mobile hardware to run its mobile Windows OS for nearly a decade, Microsoft’s first tablet offers users a real chance to create device continuity through multiple platforms.
Windows 8 will also be available on smartphones, albeit not as an upgrade. It will offer the “Windows Store” where a user can get applications. The Windows Store will support both free and paid applications, with the paid applications ranging from $1.49 to $999.99. Much like Android and Apple smartphones, the phones that will offer Windows 8 will have apps that you run from the main screen. Unlike those other phones, you can fully integrate a phone that runs Windows 8 with your home computer and other mobile devices that also run the OS.
These are only a few of the new features Windows 8 offers. If you’re interested in learning more about how to integrate your mobile technology with your existing hardware or just have questions about how Windows 8 can help you or your business, call PACE Technical Services at 905.763.7896.