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Old 06-11-12, 21:11   #1
 
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Microsoft Windows 8 -10 Great Improvements For Desktop Users




Itís easy to focus on how Windows 8ís new interface doesnít feel at home on a traditional desktop PC or laptop. But thatís only one part of Windows 8 Ė the Windows 8 desktop includes a variety of useful improvements.
If youíre a desktop user, you owe it to yourself to look over the improvements and consider upgrading. If Microsoft hadnít removed the traditional Start menu and added a new interface, weíd all be considering Windows 8ís desktop an upgrade.

Boot Speed

Windows 8 uses some tricks to dramatically improve its boot speed. Some people have seen boot times drop from 30 to 15-20 seconds on existing hardware. Instead of shutting down normally, Windows 8 employs a clever trick Ė it saves the state of low-level software such as the kernel and hardware drivers to the disk and restores them when you boot it up. Essentially, Windows 8 ďhibernatesĒ low-level system software instead of shutting it down, resulting in greatly increased boot speeds.

New Windows 8 PCs using UEFI will also boot faster than systems using the old-style BIOS.

File Copying

File copying in Windows 8 is dramatically improved. The new file copy dialog allows you to pause file-copying operations, view multiple file-copying operations in the same window, and more easily manage file conflicts. The interface is simple by default, but you can also expand the dialog to view more information, including a graph of the file transferís speed over time.




Improved Multiple Monitor Support

For power uses with multiple monitors, windows 8 allows you to place separate taskbars and wallpapers on each monitor. Previously, this required third-party software.



Task Manager

The newTask Manager is a huge improvement over the old one. It features a Startup software manager that allows users to easily control the software that loads at startup. Itís also easier to understand at a glance, with color-coded resource usage columns and more human-readable program names. You can also quickly research a mysterious process online by right-clicking it and using the Search online option.




File Explorer Improvements

Windows Explorer has seen quite a few changes. For one, itís now named File Explorer. While some users may dislike the new ribbon interface, it makes it easier to access powerful options like viewing hidden files without digging through menus and dialog boxes. You can also easily collapse the ribbon if you never want to see it.
There are also quite a few straight-up improvements, including the ability to mount ISO and VHD files by double-clicking them Ė no need to install any additional software. The Up button on the toolbar that was removed in Windows 7 is now back.





Storage Spaces

Storage Spaces is a power-user feature that allows you to combine multiple physical volumes into one logical volume. In other words, you can create a pool of storage from several physical hard disks. The storage pool will behave as if it were one hard disk.



Hyper V


Windows 8ís included Hyper V feature use Hyper-V to install Ubuntu on a virtual machinewithout installing any third-party software.




Refresh and Reset

allows you to create virtual machines out-of-the-box. Hyper-V was previously used on Windows Server and replaces the Windows Virtual PC virtualization solution used for Windows XP Mode on Windows 7. For example, you can The ability to refresh your device to its factory state may seem like a tablet feature, but it isnít. You can actually create your own system image and refresh Windows to it, quickly resetting Windows 8 to a fresh-installed state whenever you like. This can save you time when reinstalling Windows.




Battery Life

Low-level system changes, including optimizations to squeeze more battery life out of tablets and other portable computers, should result in a more power-efficient operating system and longer battery life. The removal or Aero should also result in longer battery life for laptops.

Security

Security has seen a lot of attention in Windows 8. Microsoft has finally included an integrated antivirus in Windows 8. Itís named Windows Defender, but itís actually a renamed Microsoft Security Essentials. This will ensure that even less-experienced Windows users have an antivirus, but you can easily disable it and install any other antivirus product you prefer.

Secure Boot provides protection from rootkits that hijack the startup process, assuming youíre using a new PC with UEFI instead of the traditional BIOS. (On Intel x86 PCs, you can disable Secure Boot or add your own keys to Secure Boot in the UEFI firmware, so Secure Boot wonít prevent you from installing Linux. However, Secure Boot is used to lock-down ARM-based Windows RT computers.)

The integration of Microsoftís SmartScreen filter at a lower level helps prevent less experienced uses from downloading and installing malware by warning them when they install software that is known-bad, or software that hasnít been seen before.





There are also low-level changes to memory allocation and ASLR (Address Space Layout Randomization) that make security vulnerabilities harder to exploit, even if security holes are found.
If these were the only changes that were made in Windows 8, desktop users would see it as a worthy upgrade over Windows 7 Ė especially for $40.
Even if you dislike Windows 8ís new interface, the availability of third party Start menus and software that hides a lot (but not all) of the new interface on the desktop should make you seriously consider upgrading to Windows 8 if these improvements seem significant to you.
Thanks to Geek Chris Hoffman
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