Not too long ago Microsoft released the beta version of Windows 8 in an effort to provide users with a test drive during development. Within the last few weeks the final preview version of Windows 8 was released with more features than the beta version. The final preview version still will not be the same as the official version to be released this year however; it is worth taking a look to find out more about the new capabilities for Windows 8.
Metro Start Page
When you first boot up Windows 8, you are presented with the Metro start page which is tablet PC friendly and can also be used on a PC desktop. The Metro start page has a host of apps which are presented in the form of tiles that you can click on to open. Once you open an app, typically there is more than one scroll box, and as the system stands now, it does not know which one you want to use. Instead of using the mouse wheel, for now you have to click and drag until the bug is worked out by Microsoft developers.
Each app on the Metro start page will also provide you with at-a-glance information. For example, if you view the email tile, it will tell you how many messages are waiting and identify the sender, or the calendar app will immediate tell you what events you have coming up in the near future.
Microsoft Store Enhanced Capability
To access more apps you can open up the Microsoft Store. Most of the apps are free, however if there is a pay app, you can try before you buy by clicking on free. This installs a light version of the app, so you can try it out. Once you choose the app, it shows up on your Start screen and indicates that it was successfully installed, and then you simply click on the tile to open it up. When you decide you like it, you simply return to the Microsoft Store and click Buy. If you decide you no longer want to use the app, you can uninstall it right from the Start menu by right clicking. This is a lot more convenient than the previous versions of the Windows operating system.
Access to Traditional Windows Desktop
To access the traditional Desktop you simply click on the desktop tile to open up the familiar Windows Desktop, but it does not contain a Start button. In order to access the Start page, you must hit the Windows key on your keyboard or click the Start tile.
New Features in Windows Explorer
Windows Explorer has a new look and allows you to open up the ribbon on the toolbar for added functionality. You can also drag some of the buttons into the Quick toolbar for easy access. The ISO files feature allows you to burn file folders to CD directly from Windows Explorer. You can also copy a second file simultaneously while viewing the progress of copying for both files. If you want better performance, you can pause one process, so the other performs faster.
Enhanced Task Manager
The new Task Manager can be opened by hitting Ctrl Shift Esc. When you click on Details, you can see a lot more information on running processes than in the previous versions of Windows. You can view performance graphs, app history use, and startup processes which can be viewed without typing in msconfig into the Run command prompt.
Dual Monitor Capability
To help you find your way around quicker, Windows 8 final preview provides a feature for use with your desktop PC that allows you to run the Metro page simultaneously with the traditional Windows desktop page using a dual monitor system. Both features also provide a system search which works across the board to help you find what you are looking for.
Multiple PC Functionality
If you have more than one device running Windows 8, you can sync them all together in one tap using the new syncing feature which provides you with your own place in the cloud. You can sync all of your data and multimedia and then access the files from any device equipped with Windows 8, regardless if it is a PC or a mobile device. You can also sync with your favorite social media locations as well.
This is a general overview of some of the new features being offered with the Windows 8 operating system. When you look under the hood in more depth, you will find a host of other new features which make your computing experience easier and more efficient.