By now you probably know that the new Windows 8 operating system from Microsoft was built to compliment touch-enabled monitors. If you don’t have such a monitor, you might be wondering if the other features are enough to warrant an upgrade at any price. Let’s take a look.
Windows 8 Features
The biggest change with Microsoft 8 is the new, tile-filled interface screen (called Metro) that makes your monitor look like an over-sized smartphone loaded with apps. If you really hate the interface, or if you keep tapping the monitor with your finger despite not having a touchscreen, it’s possible to turn it off altogether. Check out this handy article from PCWorld for a walkthrough on how to turn off Metro and get back the old Windows home screen you’re used to. Once you do, you’ll be impressed by a new – yet familiar – operating system that runs faster than Windows 7 and offers several handy new features, including:
Unlike Windows 7, Windows 8 stores your system state and memory contents so it can load them from the disk on reboot, instead of having to reload everything from scratch, which takes a whole lot longer. While results will vary from machine to machine, reports are that starup time with Windows 8 machines is half of what it was on Windows 7.
You have much easier access to the Windows Store where you can buy free and paid apps. While many of these are touch-based apps, you’ll also find a nice selection of mouse-friendly ones, too.
After you install Windows 8, you will automatically have Windows Defender on your computer, which is a hearty little antivirus program that offers ingoing and outgoing protection against malware.
Automatic Cloud Storage
Everything from your address book to your system settings can be stored in the cloud. Then you can access it on any Windows 8 PC. You can get your personal PC experience on your home computer, work laptop, and even at a friend’s house if they have a Windows 8 machine.
It’s a lot easier to hunt down that lost MP3 with the faster, more responsive system-wide search available in Windows 8. The search also connects to the Internet, so it’s really your one-stop-spot for browsing on your computer.