The release of Windows 8 in stores is almost near – Oct 26th, 2012. So are you thinking to upgrade? The following posts will help you in this decision.
So before you buy the latest version, have you tried the Consumer Preview, Developer Preview and Release Preview versions? If you don’t know what are these, don’t worry! These are just the experimental or beta versions released by Microsoft before releasing the final RTM (“Release to Manufacturing”) version of Windows 8. Trying the earlier Windows 8 beta versions will accustom you to the new features of Metro UI style.
Now the research is over and Windows 8 is coming out with its brand new appearance! So do you know what the Windows 8 new features look like in the final version? So let’s see a review!
According to Wired, the following are some of new features in Microsoft’s Windows 8 RTM.
Spanking Bing App :
Just like other ‘”new features” the screenshot for this app was already available in late August. But experiencing the app with your own hands is different from just viewing a group of images. What I don’t like about Google Search Results is – you need to click after every 10 results to go through the next page!
But the Bing App has infinite scrolling. You move through pages and pages of search results endlessly. The app shows search results in the same Metro tile. You have horizontal scrolling to match other Windows 8 apps and the Start screen. You will definitely like this new feature as it gives you a better experience with search results.
But are there any drawbacks with the Bing app? Yes, a few to the critical eye! It doesn’t offer all the capabilities as in the browser based version. To look for flights or get directions to a restaurant, you need to flip through Travel or Map apps. Huh! Separate app for each individual purpose! It’s like taking breakfast, lunch and dinner at different houses each day!
People Makeover :
Previously in the CP version, you had separate tabs for “What’s new” and “Me”. But now in the RTM version you can see a thumbnail of yourself, subsequent to a list of friends present on a scrollable page. One-click access to all your notifications. Now the “What’s new” tab has it’s own page. This change gives you a more organized look and makes browsing your latest updates more easier. Also you can connect your People page to different accounts like Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter, Hotmail, Outlook, Linkedin, Google and Sina Weibo.
More Customizations to Your Start Screen : We earlier looked at some of the tweaks we can do with Windows 8 Start screen. These tips and tricks do not end here. It was not only possible to change colors but we could change the background images also. Now we have another stylistic feature called “personalization tattoos”. These include everything from psychedelic flower designs to minimalistic curved lines. There are 14 “personalized tattoos”, patterned backgrounds and borders that line the Start screen.
Aero is no more :
Microsoft in its MSDN post has said that it’s moving beyond Aero Glass – flattening surfaces, removing reflections, and scaling back distracting gradients. It is applying the principles of “clean and crisp” when updating window and taskbar chrome.
The default window chrome is white, creating an airy and premium look. The taskbar continues to blend into the desktop wallpaper, but appears less complicated overall. To complete the story, we updated the appearance of most common controls, such as buttons, check boxes, sliders, and the Ribbon. We squared off the rounded edges, cleaned away gradients, and flattened the control backgrounds to align with our chrome changes. We also tweaked the colors to make them feel more modern and neutral.
Changes in Windows Store Search :
Earlier we used to swipe the Charms bar to search for apps. You can just tap or click the Search button. The more easy way of Search is to just start typing while you are in the Windows Store app. This was a similar feature which was available from the Start Screen in earlier versions.
[Image Source : Engadget]
The cons of this feature is that it needs smoothing a bit. The author found that in the middle of typing, the right-hand Charms bar would close for no apparent reason. Even just scuffing through the touchpad, caused a problem while this was not the case with Start Screen search functionality.
The Windows Store also supports 54 new markets and developers can now submit paid apps
Latest In-Store Microsoft Apps :
Do you remember all those classic and standard games that came as default with Windows 7, Vista and XP. The likes of Solitaire and Minesweeper would take you through passage times just unaccounted for. But if you want play them in Windows 8, you need to visit the Windows Store and download the games. These standard games will show as apps on your Home Screen like any other app. Microsoft listens its customers by making available a Solitaire collection, Minesweeper and Mahjong. The new feature is the Xbox SmartGlass that makes its debut in Windows 8 final version.
The bottom line is that the “Windows 8 news features” are not a drastic change to the features already present in CP, DP and RP versions. Microsoft just wants to toe along the line so that users could adopt to the new Metro style features and don’t complain of steep-learning curve.
If you have any complains about Windows 8 features or find hard to cope with the Microsoft’s changed mind-set, let us know in the comments.