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We’re preparing for Windows 8 and the delights it’s expected to bring in. Fans of Windows remember what a relief it was to get Windows 7 after the very aesthetic by heavy-weight Vista. Windows 8 further streamlines the Windows 7 experience and adds a few more gems to it. We think Windows 8 bests Windows 7 in the following 18 ways.
1. Amazing Touch Functionality
Windows 8 allows you to use Touch to perform all the tasks that you normally perform using the mouse and keyboard. You can swipe apps off the screen, access invisible thumbnail apps at the top or bottom right corner and do much, much more using Touch.
2. Notifications Are More User Friendly
The new Metro notification system is non-intrusive. You’ll see the notification pop up in the top right corner of the screen, not right in the middle. If you don’t open the notification, it stays there without intruding on your work.
3. Your Preferences Are Remembered
For example, when you plug in your USB, you can choose whether you want to open Explorer, copy and move files or do something else. Windows will automatically execute your choice the next time you stick your USB in.
4. Smoother App Switching
Leave your mouse pointer in the top or bottom left corner of the screen, and you’ll see a thumbnail showing the next app. Drag your mouse down to view the thumbnails and choose the next app. To see all recent desktop and Metro apps, click Alt+Tab, and to view the switching pane, use Win+Tab.
5. Close Metro Apps Without Using Task Manager
Use touch and drag your app from the top of the screen till it shrinks to a thumbnail size. Then drag it off the screen to close it. You can do this with your mouse as well, or use Alt+F4, as you would with a desktop app.
6. Uses Lesser Memory
During tests, Windows 7 and Windows 8 machines were rebooted several times to test system memory usage. The Windows 8 machine showed 3 less system processes (9+% less). Windows 8 uses 124 MB less available desktop memory (20% less than 7).
7. Control Panel Easier To Navigate
The control panel is cleaner and easier to navigate, better than the Windows 7 Category View. You can manage all your system functionality customization on one screen instead of moving through multiple screens.
8. Pinnable Metro Interface
You can now pin your email, appointments, contacts and photos pinned to it. This makes the Metro more user-friendly and more fun. There’s also the Metro tile for the desktop, where you can pin Explorer and libraries.
9. Redesigned Charm Bar
When you swipe from the edge of your screen, you can see the redesigned charm bar containing your Share, Search, Devices, Settings and Start options. You can access the charm bar through your mouse as well.
10. Swap Between Start And Previous Task
A group of your previous tasks are lined up under Start, which makes it very easy to navigate around. You can scroll your mouse and swap between Start and apps– the tiles move just as smoothly as though you were using Touch.
11. Quick Link To Apps View
If you want a quick look at all your apps, just swipe up from the bottom on the Start screen. All your apps are neatly organized into program groups and even arranged alphabetically for maximum user-friendliness.
12. Improved Switching Pane
Drag your mouse down to see the thumbnails in the switching pane, or just use touch pad or swipe sideways with Microsoft Touch Mouse to switch between apps and pics.
13. Great Metro-Style Apps
There are Xbox apps that allow you to control your Xbox console from your Windows PC or phone and Xbox LIVE Games and Xbox Companion. These apps allow you to seamless connect to your HDTV through Xbox and browse music and video marketplaces.
14. Great Looking, Better Performing Apps
There’s Bing Finance, Bing Weather and Bing Maps, along with Pinball FX2 and Solitaire that are not just great looking but perform excellently, among others.
15. Great Updates To Windows Desktop
There’s the ribbon-based Explorer, improved file copy and the new Task Manager. The new Start tip replaces the Start button of 7 and comes with a menu of useful options, which were hard to find in 7.
16. Cloud Integration
You can save apps within the local file system and also into the cloud with SkyDrive. This and several other cloud integration aspects make Windows 8 seamless.
17. Advanced Methods For Installation, Upgrades And Repairs
The Push Button Reset allows you to reset your PC, removing personal data, settings and apps in about six minutes. There’s the PC Refresh that takes about 8 mins to refresh your PC. No more waiting an entire day to clean up.
18. Context-Sensitive, Advanced Search Options
Windows 8 brings you advanced, multi-faceted context-sensitive search both on Windows Explorer and on Internet Explorer. When you switch to context-sensitive search, IE brings you results from Bing.
Author bio: This article is contributed by Dean from conversion rate optimization company Invesp.
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