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A Look into Windows 8

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Over the past couple of months there has been quite the buzz over Windows 8; Microsoft’s newest Operating System set to roll out on October 26, 2012. For most home users this release won’t mean a whole lot. However, for business users this could mean a change in the not so distant future. Depending on what your business has signed up for, newer computers may start coming in with Windows 8 rather than Windows 7. My main goal with this post is to touch on some of the major changes and familiarize everyone with the new Windows 8 layout. Fortunately I’ve had the opportunity to install it on my laptop here at work and use it full time.

Let’s start out with the biggest change: The Start Screen. 
This screen now replaces the old Start button located in the bottom left hand corner of the screen. This is the screen that you’re greeted with upon login. By default, it has tiles that show things like the weather, your mail, chat programs, and the calendar. Once you have more programs installed you can add tiles for those as well. I added tiles for Microsoft Word and Microsoft Outlook. This screen can be customized and changed however you like. Think of this screen as your Home Screen.

Windows 8 still has the old style Desktop like in previous versions of Windows. So, if there are files you need quick access to they can be located on the desktop. After a few days of use I've found that I’ve been moving away from using the desktop and focusing more on the new start menu. 

Along with the start menu change, Windows 8 also employs new login methods. When setting up Windows 8, the setup asked for an email address. I put in my Windows Live ID and continued my setup. Upon reading further, I found that Windows will automatically save your personal profile (Bookmarks, settings, etc…) and even link with a Microsoft Skydrive account. I found this to be quite handy as sometimes I have bookmarks on one computer and I would like to have access to them on my other computers, like my laptop.
Some of the other notable changes I found are an upgrade from Internet Explorer 9 to Internet Explorer 10, a new Task Manager, Built in Anti-Virus, a new lock screen, and many other additions to the operating system. Another handy feature that is a little less known is the removal of the Blue Screen of Death. Now, if Windows encounters an issue that causes Windows 8 to stop functioning, a new, easier to read error screen appears.
Overall, I expected Windows 8 to be a step in the wrong direction. However, after using it for some time I have found it’s not so bad after all. Within time, new computers ordered will come shipped with Windows 8 and users will have to switch over. While the move to Windows 8 won’t happen overnight, expect to start seeing new computers arriving with Windows 8 installed. If you have any questions regarding Windows 8, would like to know more about it, or would like to know if your next computer can come with Windows 8, please don’t hesitate to contact us at 616.837.6930 and we’ll be happy to help in any way possible!
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