Windows 8, at the outset appears to have many of the features you’ll find in Windows 7. You may even think that the only significant difference between Windows 7 and Windows 8 is the Metro UI. But that’s not actually the case. There are many many differences which are not outwardly visible but as you keep working with the OS, you begin to see how big these changes are. In this post, we take a look at some of the major new features in Windows 8, changes that make the OS work even better than Windows 7.
Before we head off to the list, you should be aware that Windows 8 has been built to run not just on traditional desktops like Windows 7 or earlier operating systems. Windows 8 can now run on tablets and hybrids ( a laptop that can be converted to a tablet) too.
Another cool improvement in Windows 8 is the super quick Start and Close times. All it takes is about 2 or 3 seconds. If you happen to be using Windows Vista, you’ll be jumping up and down and clapping your hands in sheer joy when you start or shut down a Windows 8 device.
Enhancements and New Features in Windows 8
Let us now dive right into some of the new features in Windows 8 that you’ll see once you set up the OS.
New Lock Screen
Unlike Windows 7 which featured a rather useless logon screen, the Windows 8 logon screen, which is the first thing you will notice when you power on your PC, displays quite a bit of useful information, with options to customize it too.
New Logon Process
The logon screen which appears after you navigate away from the lock screen, lets you sign into your user account using a Microsoft account ( Hotmail or Live accounts are referred to as Microsoft accounts) or a local account. Plus there’s options to use a picture password or PIN to login.
Logging in using your Microsoft account also means that you can sync all your settings and data automatically across all your Windows 8 devices.
New Start Screen
The most frustrating part of using Windows 8 for traditional Windows users is surely going to be the missing Start button, which is now replaced by the Start screen. Also called the Metro UI, it features tiles displaying live data such as the weather, messages, email, and more. This screen also works like a search pad, where you can type the name of a program to find it.
Windows 8 has become an app-centric OS, meaning that you can access most programs via apps. While the operating system does come with standard, in- built apps, you can find more in the Windows Store. There are both free and premium apps, but it still a long way away from what Google Play and the Apple App Store have to offer. You can buy apps using the Microsoft account you used to login to your user account.
Windows Explorer is now File Explorer
There’s not just a change in name, File Explorer also gets the Ribbon making it easier to complete tasks such as moving, copying, pasting, previewing, and so on.
No Windows Media Center
Windows Media Center does not come by default, but if you miss it, you can buy the package separately.
This new Windows 8 feature lets you make automated data backups.
Internet Explorer 10
Windows 8 comes with the latest version of the web browser, and it is an app that takes a bit of getting used to, at least on the traditional desktop. However, it is said to be the fastest and safest version to date.
Windows Defender Improvements
Though you may not be spending too much time on Windows Defender, you’ll be pleased to know that it comes with complete anti virus and anti spyware protection.
Enhanced Task Manager
The Task Manager looks like its had a complete overhaul. It is supposed to make managing your system and resources more efficient than before, but it does take a bit of getting used to.
Windows 8 comes with a cool set of language packs which you can switch to pretty easily. You no longer have a purchase a version to display another language.
Improved Parental Controls
This version of Windows offers many improvements to the Parental Control features than its previous counterparts.
That’s just a list of some of the major new features in Windows 8. Which Windows 8 feature impressed you the most? Let us know in the comments section.