Windows 8 was released last week and the latest version of Windows contains more than 300 new features as compared to the previous Windows 7. I know many of you are still thinking about whether you should upgrade your Windows system or not. Therefore, we have tracked down 30 new Windows 8 features that can help you to make that decision.
1. The new Start Screen
The new Windows 8 start screen has all of the information you care about in one place, such as weather, your contacts, and the next appointment on your calendar. The tiles on your start screen are brimming with content that will change and update in real-time so you can see what’s going on and stay on top of things.
2. The new Charm bar
Instead of traditional “Start Menu,” Windows 8 introduces a new implementation named “Charms.” The Charm sidebar offers five sets of options, which supports system settings such as volume and brightness or app-specific settings. Five options include Start, Search, Share, Devices, and Settings. The “Start” option takes you back to Windows 8 home screen. Devices option shows you a list of devices you have connected. “Share” option offers you direct sharing to Social Networks.
3. More life to the lock screen
In Windows 8, you can select up to seven apps that run in the background and send notifications to the lock screen. Some of the apps can show updated information at all times such as Weather app or Calendar app.
4. Pin everything you love
The New Start Screen is for not only live tiles and information updates; it is an important bulletin board on which you can pin whatever you like. For example, you can pin specific websites or particular sections of an app. You can pin one specific place from your travel app so that you can keep track of that location at the Start screen.
5. Seamless integration of touch, keyboard, and mouse
You can now switch between apps, organize your Start screen, and pan and zoom. With the touch keyboard, you can navigate, type, and interact on the go. Because you work in different ways depending on which app you’re using, Windows 8 make it easy to use whichever method works for you.
6. New Windows store
The new Windows store is designed to make it easy to discover apps without getting lost. You will see apps featured on the front page and it is easy to find apps because they’re well-organized in categories like New Releases, Top paid and Top free. After you decide, you can buy with peace of mind because before an app makes it to the Windows Store, it is screened and checked if there are any virus.
7. Protecting children from the Windows store
Using Family Safety, you can change the settings to determine what your children can download and see in the Windows store. Setting up a rating level filters the apps and games that children can access the Windows store in a safer environment on you preferred requirements.
8. Windows 8 keyboard switch to your language automatically
The new touch-enabled PCs with Windows 8 installed, the keyboard layout automatically adjusts to the language you have chosen based on your preference. So, language settings apply to the whole PC rather than just some of your apps in your PC.
9. The new Navigation of Touch screen
Some common Windows 8 gestures:
- Swipe from the right edge for system commands
- Swipe in from the left to switch app
- Swipe in and out on the left brings up previously used apps
- Swipe from the bottom or top edge for app commands
- Drag an app to close an app
- Press and hold to see more options
10. Everything on Windows 8 is cloud-connected
If you sign in your windows 8 device with Microsoft account, your personalization, desktop background, and settings are all there, which is similar to the synchronization feature of Google Chrome. You can now start a project on one PC, and finish it on another. When you use the cloud to store your information, the boundaries between devices dissolve.
11. Windows To Go
Windows To Go allows users to make a complete copy of their Windows 8 OS with their settings, wallpapers, apps, and even files into a USB thumb drive. Plugged it into another computer with Windows 8 already installed, and users can boot up the Computer with the look exactly alike the Windows 8 that you normally use.
12. Connected to your files on cloud
One of the new Windows 8 features is that you can switch from one Windows 8 device to another and be ready to pick up where you left off just by signing in. When your files are put in the cloud, you can access photos and other files on Microsoft SkyDrive when you have an internet connection.
13. Family safety in the cloud
You can now set up accounts for your children so that you don’t have to worry about their online activity. Family Safety will monitor your children’s activities and let you know what they are doing in real-time. If you connect the account, you can get a weekly report about their online activity. You can also set up web-site filtering and time limits as well as app restrictions for your children.
14. Applications work well with each other
In windows 8, apps work together very well so that you can share information between different applications and streamline your work. For instance, Mail and Photos apps are well-connected; you can select an image in the photos app and email it to one of your friends in your email contact list.
15. Web navigation by fingertip
The notorious Internet Explorer has been re-built in Windows 8. It is now designed to offer faster browsing via better hardware acceleration, along with high-speed gesture-based zoom, pan and web site navigation.
16. Support USB 3.0
USB 3.0 performs ten times faster than the original USB 2.0. Microsoft offers better support for native USB 3.0 devices. Now Windows 8 users can enjoy a super speed USB without using third-party driver.
17. Improved total search experience
If you want to search something, all you need to do is to type anything, and a search box will appear from the right and give you he results. The search capability is much stronger than previous windows version, which displays all the matching apps and files instantly.
18. Search within apps
You can now search within apps within Windows 8 search function. The “Charm” pane that pops out on the right column will show you the list of apps that you can conduct the search in. If you’re looking for emails sent by a particular person in your contacts, type the name and click the email app you wish to search in.
19. Share between devices without any cables
Tap and Do works on mobile devices equipped with Near Field Communications (NFC), so you can tap two devices together and share information easily. Tap and Setup is another new Windows 8 feature that lets you connect wireless devices such as keyboards, mics, or headphones by simply tapping them against your PC.
20. High speed boot time
The Loading and boot up speed has greatly improved over Window’s predecessors because there is better resource allocations to applications and the system. Compared to Windows 7 desktop, Windows 8 has higher speed boot time.
21. Better support for multiple monitors
Windows 8 now brings increased support for multiple monitors. You can now extend the taskbar across two Computers without using any third-party apps. You can also extend your wallpapers across two monitors. You can also switch quickly between primary and secondary monitor by clicking the switch button.
22. Keep Windows Update out of your way
If you turn on Windows Update during the setup section and your PC needs to update, Windows 8 can now install it when you are not using your PC, or at a time you’ve specified.
23. Build-in mobile broadband features
In Windows 8, it adds support for 3G and 4G telecommunication, which enable business users on the go to connect to the internet immediately. Windows 8 mobile broadband support can help keep data usage costs low with built-in mobile broadband metering.
24. SmartScreen protects you from malware on the internet
If SmartScreen is turned on at startup, the technologies check the reputation of any new app or website, helping to keep users safe no matter what browser they are using. This can help to prevent malware and viruses from infiltrating your computer.
25. Protect computer without third-party software
If you don’t have any malware scanners installed, Windows Defender monitors and helps protect your PC against viruses and other malware in real-time. If your PC becomes infected, it will automatically detect and removes malware. Windows 8 can also manage anti-malware software to help keep your PC safe.
26. Re-designed task manager
The new task manager is a handy dashboard that you can use to monitor and control your PC. The New Color-coded tiles present information in a way that’s easy to understand. You can keep track of resources efficiently and in real-time with graphs and details about process, apps and history as well.
27. Redesigned keyboard shortcut key
If you are not using touch-based devices, you can still enjoy new windows 8 features with keyboard shortcuts to access the best Windows 8 features. The following list includes some of the most useful commands:
- Windows key + F: To open the search on Charm
- Windows key + H: To open the share on Charm
- Windows key + C: To open Charm
- Windows key + K: To open the devices Charm
- Windows key + O: To lock the screen orientation on tablet
- Windows key + Z: To open commands for app
28. Easy restore
New Windows 8 has streamlined the options of system recovery, with options limited to “Refresh” or “Reset.” Refresh preserves your settings, files, and apps bought via Windows Store. “Reset” is a full system purge and restores the system without reinstallation, which is similar to restoring your iPhone via iTunes.
29. New login methods
Through a touch screen or mouse, you can now set your password to comprise a set of geometric gestures. This feature can only recognize simple gestures like lines or curves, but the result should be unique enough to make this a reasonable security alternative.
30. Better copy experience
Windows 8 introduced new copy operations, where all the file copying goes into a single dialog box. The new dialog box for file copying allows you pause, resume, or stop each operation. Now each copy job shows the speed of data transfer and how much data is left to transfer. In many cases, it can provide a quick and easy way to assess what is going on for a particular copy job.