Windows 8 is the newest generation of the Windows operating systems, rumored to be scheduled to hit the market sometime in 2012. Although it has not yet been officially released, Microsoft has made a Windows 8 preview available for download so that anyone in the general public who is interested in knowing more about it can experience its features first hand. For those of you who don’t have time to download and test drive the Developer Preview, here is a quick rundown of seven things you should know about Windows 8.
ARM chips. Windows 8 is the first-ever operating system (OS) to operate on ARM chips. This means the OS will be able to run on both tablets and desktops.
User interface. Windows 8 takes a giant risk in completely overhauling the traditional Windows user interface in favor of a “live tiles” screen, featuring user apps, and a sidebar feature called, “Snap.” Users who prefer the traditional interface will find that they can easily toggle back and forth between the new and the old with a simple click.
Touch screen. With the advent of Windows 8, Microsoft adds a multi-touch screen feature to the Windows interface.
Xbox Live. The Windows 8 Interface combines PC and console gaming by way of bringing Xbox live to the desktop.
Cloud features. Every user of Windows 8 will receive a Skydrive account. This will allow them to access and transfer Skydrive files from one system to the other.
App store. To go along with its new app-centric user interface, Windows 8 will provide its users with an app store featuring games, productivity tools, and desktop applications.
Boot time. Windows 8 boots in a record 10 seconds. That is because this new operating system hibernates with only the minimal elements, restarting them only at boot time.
In additional to all these features, Windows 8 has beefed up its security, and the security can be checked during the boot process. To learn more, you may visit the Windows Dev Center website, where you have the option of downloading three different beta (test) versions of Windows 8. However, casual users are urged to forgo the test versions and wait for the real thing, as Windows 8 is not yet bug-free and wiping your existing operating system out in order to install an experimental version of an operating system is not exactly a great idea for those who aren’t especially tech-savvy.
About the Author: Dona Collins is a professional writer who enjoys writing about technology. Her current interests are new windows platforms, new blackberry phones, and tablets.