by September 3, 2012 0 comments

My biggest apprehension about Windows 8 is that how would a guy who has spent all his life with ‘Start’ menu live without it, and the response that we received from Microsoft was that if Apple can communicate using ‘finger’ this is right time for user to start learning something new. What Microsoft and chip designers Intel are trying to achieve is the phenomenon of ‘always connected’, while Intel gave ‘ultraportable’ to world Microsoft is trying to converge PC and Tablet experience. Microsoft showed us two computing devices, one Tablet and other Samsung Series 9 Ultrabook with Windows 8. 

Connected device
Till the time you open browser of your traditional laptop your machine is disconnected from the world. Opening browser is sort of pulling information which looks ancient when compared with your smartphone and tablet that feed you live data. So the 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 important one, number of mails you have received. Once you decide to log on and you are on a tablet what Windows 8 allows you is instead of typing (which is tedious), you can login using pattern. One more interesting part is you can have same profile across devices, so when you make preferential change on one device (changing your wallpaper) it is reflected in other.

Metro UI
When you login in your traditional Windows machine what you see is the ‘desktop.’ This again is static and can cater to only visual pleasure depending on your background image, but in Windows 8 you would log in to Metro interface that is teaming with activity –each tile can give you information about particular application. 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. You can group related application together under one group, and if you are using tablet, you can pinch and zoom into this interface without losing resolution (same can be done using track pad or mouse in ultrabook). Besides fun part, in business context imagine you as user find all your application tiles with relevant information so that you can start directly from most important task.

Sides, corners and keyboard (virtual)
Once you are on an application, what you have to focus on are the coroners and sides to carry out usual tasks. If you want to go back to basic traditional desktop simply move your finger or curser to left bottom corner. To access sidebar, you have to move over to right side of tablet screen or touch pad (in case of Ultrabook). Microsoft told us that there was a lot of aesthetic tests carried out and one result that came out of it was virtual keyboard which can be split into two bottom corners to type with thumb. On top of it, you can change size of this keyboard to match your thumb.

One thing that I was really impressed and hoping off Windows 8 was a device that I can use both as tablet and as desktop and that was precisely what I was shown. Use your Windows 8 tablet to surf Internet using touch interface and then when you have to modify an urgent sales Excel simply dock your machine on docking station, move attached mouse to left corner and get PC experience you are used to.

Automatic switching network
One interesting aspect about Windows 8 would be intelligent network switching, so if one is on metered network Windows would intelligently delay heavy updates till you get back to network you have tagged as not metered.

Shared contracts
The most impressive of all the features we saw was the shared contract. To understand this, let’s assume you are a website owner that has content like photographs on your site. Let’s also assume that you have a friend who has created an app that can turn any picture into puzzle. Now you can have some line of code written in your site that would make pictures available on your website open to a contract that can be picked up by an app developer to create a puzzle. In this way you are open to possibilities in future without knowing what they are.

How developers can make MONEY
If you are in publishing business than Windows Application Store is best for you in financial terms. Microsoft has decided to give more financial benefit to application developers, so if your application catches public imagination and is downloaded more than certain number of times your share of benefit would keep increasing. And the best part is that if it becomes very popular than you would get 100 % benefit of this app.

HTML 5 ‘effects’
Browsing experience in Windows 8 is quite enhanced, first you don’t have to search for flash plug-in as it is already built in, second you don’t have to keep searching for next button in a long article. Simply swipe your fingers across and you move forward or backward. Additionally, if you are browsing for games and you come across interesting HTML 5 game you want to keep playing, Windows 8 allows you to create a native application on your machine without losing out on experience that to with simple steps.

Windows 8 is ‘live’
Windows 8 (some skews) would allow you to create live bootable USB drive. This though not a new feature for Linux guys is a useful addition. With Windows 8, administrator can create a bootable USB drive with all needed policies and access controls and give it to user who can use it on his/her own machine at home. Even if drive is lost it is useless to any one as data would not be stored locally on drive plus it is encrypted. This feature would involve licensing but is still something administrators would love to have.

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