Still a year or more from the final release of Windows 8 - Microsoft's upcoming version of WindowsOperating System. But its Beta releases this year, leaked screenshots and rumored features already give us a fair idea of what to expect in it.
We shall now category-wise proceed with discussing the awaited potential features of Windows 8 that might show up in it.
While mostWindowsusers are accustomed to relying on third-party tools for handling disc images and drive maintenance tasks,Microsofthas been working on a new file system for years.
While Windows has lagged behind other operating systems, when it comes to the ability to handle disc images. As recently as Windows Vista, users needed third-party tools to burn an image to a disc. And while Windows 7 can now write a disc image, it can't mount and read one. However, this feature will finally come in Windows 8.
Tweaked Disk Cleanup:
According to Windows 8's pre-release builds, the Disk Cleanup utility has been enhanced with options that let you sort files by size and type. This should make it much easier to reclaim disk space quickly by targeting temporary files and spotting the biggest space hogs on your hard drive.
Based on screenshots and videos leaked from an April build of Windows 8, it appears that Microsoft looks to be integrating a new feature called Portable Workspaces into Windows 8, which will let you create a portable image of your system (comprising of a streamlined clone of your desktop, user settings and essential apps) on any USB drive with at least 16 GB of available space.
While Windows XP Service Pack 2 introduced a useful file-versioning feature called Shadow Copy, relatively few end users ever realized this feature existed. Even now, in Windows 7, it remains obscure and mostly inaccessible to ordinary users. Windows 8's History Vault feature (timed, incremental backups of changed files) appears poised to bring Shadow Copy into the light of day, whose early screenshots look eerily similar to Apple's Time Machine feature in OS X.
Since 2003, Microsoft has been working on a new Windows file system capable of detecting and using relationships between various chunks of data on a PC. WinFS (where "FS" stands for Future Storage) incorporates features of SQL relational database servers to intelligently find connections between files and surface them to applications. A common example of this would be a version of Windows Explorer capable of automatically discovering photos of a specific person and displaying them in chronological order.
WinFS was expected to launch as part of Windows Vista in 2006, but never made the final cut due to technical difficulties. Microsoft has made no announcements about the file system's chances of appearing in Windows 8, and we've yet to see credible evidence that it's coming.
Windows 8 seems to be deeplynet-connected, with a barrel of new features aimed at making the web browsing experience more central, syncing user data to the cloud.
Internet Explorer 10:
Despite the fact that Internet Explorer comes preinstalled on every Windows PC, Microsoft's share of thebrowsermarket continues to decline. But development of IE 10 continues at what looks to be a pretty brisk pace, with a bunch of tablet-friendly features.
The most interesting browser enhancements we've run across for Windows 8 is a feature Microsoft calls Immersive Browser. Apparently based on the mobile browser in Windows Phone 7, Immersive Browser will presumably use the IE rendering engine within a simplified full-screen interface that will make the most of tablet displays. To get more web onto the screen, Microsoft reduced the number of menu options to Forward, Back, Address, Reload, and Favorite.
Some leaked screens also reveal a tiled interface similar to the Metro UI in Windows Phone 7, which would display web links as tiles across the immersive browser screen for quick navigation. This feature looks like it would be more useful in a tablet than on a PC, but it may work for both.
SmartScreen Download Filter:
Internet Explorer 9 includes a reputation-based phishing filter called SmartScreen, which checks files, links, and sites against a reputation database before before allowing them to launch or loading them in the browser. These options have been spotted under the View tab in the Folder menu as user-selectable features.
Leaked screenshots from Windows 8 alpha builds show thatcloudis now an integral part of the operating system. Apparently users will be able to link their Live Mesh/SkyDrive account to Windows 8.
Digging through DLL files in the alpha build, uncovers signs of push-notification support in Windows 8, such as triggering a noise or flash a light when a newemailcomes in, or announce a request for video chat and more.
User Account Features
So far, we've spotted few changes to the way Windows 8 will manage user accounts, but two interesting features have popped up on the rumor forums.
Though there's nothing especially new about the idea of facial recognition, leaked news of a Windows 8 API called "Detect human presence," which likely integrates face recognition into the OS, where in users will be able to login to their password-protected Windows Account without having to type in the password every time for access.
Leaked screens show the presence of a feature called "System Reset" that allows a user to revert back to factory settings. The menu description for the feature reads, "Remove all programs you've installed and restore default Windows settings. You can choose to keep user accounts and personal files." For those who like to occasionally reinstall windows as a way of reducing bloat, this could be a real boon.
So far, the screenshots we've seen of Windows 8 don't appear substantially different from those of Windows 7. But here are two tweaks worth talking about.
One of the most noticeable interface tweaks in Windows 8 pre-release builds is the proliferation of ribbon menus throughout Windows Explorer. Already present in included apps such as Paint and Word Pad, the ribbon interface adds a host of new buttons to the Windows Explorer menu, allowing to execute classic menu options within one-click accessibility.
This simple menu option in the Window Color and Appearance control panel empowers Windows to automatically change the desktop color scheme to match the dominant color in your wallpaper.
Windows App Store:
The most prevalent content-related rumor in the Windows 8 universe is that Microsoft is working on Windows app store.
Finally Microsoft seems to be building PDF support directly into Windows with an app called Modern Reader, which will read a whole lot more than just PDFs.
To capitalize on the current touch tablet craze, Microsoft is making a few moves to optimize Windows 8 for the slate, including touch-friendly improvements throughout the operating system, many of which appear to have been adapted directly from WindowsPhone7.
System On Chip Support:
Diminutive System On Chip (SOC) architecture will play a massive role in the company's future, which is why Microsoft will release multiple versions of Windows 8 for both x86 and ARM, including four distinct builds for the latter, meaning Windows 8 will be designed to run on low-power chips from ARM, Qualcomm, AMD, Intel, and Texas Instruments.
One of the many touch interface enhancements, includes the option of a pattern login screen consisting of a 16-block grid, which would allow for complexsecuritypatterns.
There are a few more forthcoming features that we do have some good information about.
New Windows Task Manager:
Though, there's little in the way of new functionality here, but the merged control panels will make quicker work out of spotting resource hogs and shutting them down with one click through a single control panel redubbed Modern Windows Task Manager.
To speed up boot times, Microsoft seems to have worked up a new method of shutting down and starting up known as Hybrid Boot, which works more like hibernation than actual shutdown, leaving lots of data cached for ready retrieval when the system resumes. Leaked screens also show an option to revert the system to conventional shutdown mode for users who'd rather like to conserve power.
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