It’s been more than 6 months since Microsoft released their new OS, Windows 8. Although criticized for the features it doesn’t have, there’s an addition of some good new features to it. Features that make Windows 8 worth switching to. Read on, and explore new possibilities you can have with the flat blue logo.
1. Reduced Boot Time
When Windows 7 was finally launched, Microsoft told us to expect a reduced boot time of about 15 seconds. However, this was never the case with most of the users, including me. The average boot time for a decent hardware running Windows 7 was about 30 seconds to 1 min, and it could increase significantly over a year of use. To avoid waiting, people preferred keeping their PCs on sleep or hibernating it instead.
Fortunately for us, Windows 8 has overcome this problem pretty well. To expect the least, I’d say the boot times are reduced to half as compared to Windows 7. If you use the latest hardware or an SSD instead, the decrease is even more drastic.
Wonder how did it improve so much? Well, Windows 8 saves the system kernel into memory when it shuts down, and simply loads it back when it starts up, which is basically like using a partial hibernation instead of closing everything when it shuts down.
2. Keeping Things Simple
User interface is the biggest factor when a new OS is released. Introduction of Aero Effects made the hardware requirements rise quite sharply to deliver the performance it promised. That made people either upgrade their existing hardware significantly just to install Vista, or stick with good old XP. (Upgrading the hardware was one of the major reasons why people hated Vista. But that’s a different story…)
Windows 7 didn’t add much to it, but fixed some of the performance issues. Windows 8 on the other hand, actually tried & removed some of the unnecessary glossiness making it more resource friendly. As a consequence, every system running Windows 7 can run Windows 8, which makes the upgrade easy.
Added perks include faster performance with the same old hardware and longer battery life for laptops.
3. Improved Security Tools
Unlike Windows 7 where the first notification you’ll get from Action Center is to “find a suitable antivirus service”, Windows 8 has Microsoft Security Essentials preloaded with the OS, named as Windows Defender. It comes with a firewall and provides moderately good protection against threats for free. Another update installs antimalware for added security.
Sometimes you may want to switch to a better, or paid antivirus service instead, it disables its protection to avoid conflicts with the other antivirus.
4. Recovery Made Simpler
Windows 8 provides a very simple interface for tasks that required more efforts before. It gives you an option to refresh your Windows without affecting your personal files, in case a virus has left your system corrupt. If you want to install everything from the scratch, there’s an option to Remove Everything and Reinstall Windows.
Besides, it has also kept Windows 7 version of file recovery hidden under the name ‘Windows 7 file recovery’ to create system images. This can be a real life-saver for those with little or no experience in formatting a PC.
5. Cloud Sync and Added Features
By signing into a free Microsoft Live Account, you can sync your Modern apps and settings over the cloud. It enables you to get them back on another PC running Windows 8, or your own PC after reinstalling or refreshing Windows. You also get the storage space for storing files on Microsoft SkyDrive with a Live account.
It has also got a lot of small in-built features added apart from loads of Modern apps like Music, News, Weather, Calendar etc. Being a minimalist, I love this thing about Win 8 for it saves me the pain of installing additional software. Some of them include:
- Built-in mount tool: Mount .iso images without having to install any additional software.
- Built-in pdf reader: It doesn’t have all the features that Adobe or Foxit Reader offer, but it’s good to see Microsoft finally welcoming pdf instead of being pushy about it’s own xps format.
- Windows Mail App: Synchronize all your mail directly with the desktop and get notifications as a new mail arrives. It saves me the trouble of opening gmail in browser every time to check mail.
Besides, Windows 8 makes better use of your multi-touch touchpad by adding more gestures like edge swipe to it.
Found this post informative? Have any suggestions to improve it? I’d love to hear from you.
Have a nice day!