by January 2, 2013 0 comments

Microsoft's latest OS completely redefines the Windows experience. For Windows 7 users, it opens a world with both positive and negative implications. Positive, as its faster, impressively touch centric and highly interactive. Negative, because it can be difficult to use. Both are critical factors and are central to our analysis of what is so special about the new Microsoft OS and whether it's worth upgrading to or not. 

Touch to use
The new OS relies heavily on touch functionality. It is not that Windows 7 didn't support touch. It did, but it never took off, unlike Windows 8 which offers a far better user experience. The main interface looks like a Windows smartphone with metro tiles giving info about an application. You can club similar applications together under one group. This can be of immense help to professionals who can find all their application tiles with relevant information. So your mail tile would show how many mails you have; Facebook tile of a chosen friend would feed you about what all he is up to, and so on. Instead of going to the menu, simply touch the apps on the metro tiles. The onscreen keyboard is more responsive and easy to use than Windows 7. However, as touchscreen PCs are still not in vogue and most of the users are unlikely to dump their existing PC for Windows 8, Microsoft has allowed Windows 8 touch experience on a non-touch PC through Windows 8 peripherals like touch pens, track pads, touch mouse, etc. And they are moderately priced with a touch pen costing you somewhere around Rs 3-4k. The question here is, whether the touch and tile experience is enough for a user to switch to Windows 8. There's no clear yes or no answer to this. Because when it comes to content creation, most of the world still relies on the good old mouse and keyboard. However, given that touch is becoming a common feature in all upcoming devices, you need an OS that's geared to handle them. So it makes sense to opt for Windows 8 from that perspective.

A major upgrade from Windows 7 is that even before you log in, you get information like what network you are connected to, date, time and most importantly, the number of mails you have received. Once you decide to log on instead of typing, you can login using even a pattern. One more interesting part is that you can have the same profile across devices. So, when you make preferential changes on one device (for instance, changing your wallpaper) it will reflect on other devices as well. It also supports intelligent network switching, which means you can select a particular network and Windows would intelligently monitor and assign the tasks to that network only. For instance, a download assigned to a network would only happen on that network. Also, Windows 8 allows to save data to and from cloud storage. Browsing is a breeze, as you don't have to keep searching for the Next button. Simply swipe your fingers across to switch between files.

Windows 8 is 'live'
Windows 8 allows users to create a live bootable USB drive. Not a new feature for those working on Linux, is nonetheless a useful one. With Windows 8, an administrator can create a bootable USB drive with all the needed policies and access controls and give it to a user who can use it on his machine at home. Even if the drive is lost it shall be rendered useless to others as he would not be able to see the data, which shall in any case be encrypted. This feature would involve licensing but is still something administrators would love to have.


You may also like to read…

Is It Worth Upgrading to Windows 8?

Windows 8 Ready Devices

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