Editor’s Note: Guest Author Ajeet Pratap Maurya is a Software Engineer specializing in .NET technologies and iOS development.
Software giant Microsoft has finally unveiled Windows 8 operating system for public preview on after their developer’s preview during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. With this release there were many major changes in Windows Operating system that is worth noticing.
With Windows 8, the whole experience of Windows has been reimagined. It’s designed to work on a wide range of devices, from touch-enabled tablets, to laptops, to desktops and all in ones. Windows 8 is designed to give you instant access to your apps, your files, and the information you care about most so you can spend less time navigating and more time doing what you actually want to do. You can move between Windows 8 PCs easily and access your files and settings from virtually anywhere. For hundreds of millions of computer users around the world, clicking the Windows Start button is the foundation for every digital action. Yet in Windows 8 that button has been redesigned, replaced and even on some screens abolished. The Metro interface is heavily borrowed from the new Windows phone, and is designed with touch in mind.
Windows Store also made debut with the Windows 8 consumer preview. The new OS store adopts the Metro Style and promotes the number of applications and games including the Telegraph, USA Today, Slacker, and Daily Motion and third party apps namely WordPress, Kindle and iCookbook. Microsoft has done a lot to fine tune the Windows 8 touch UI in the Consumer Preview, focusing on how it interacts with the edges of the screen. Microsoft has introduced a series of gestures and keyboard shortcuts. The aim is for controls the left and right of the screen are windows controls. The left lets you switch between applications, the right opens up the Windows 8 ‘charms’ — for search, share, devices and settings.
A new close gesture lets you quickly throw away running Metro applications. Swipe down from the top of the screen to the middle, shrinking the current application, then quickly drag it off the bottom of the screen. The top and bottom of the screen are for Metro-style applications, opening application bars and menus. While installing Windows 8 Consumer Preview, you can also use Microsoft’s new Metro-influenced browser. Features like sharing and skyDrive just add beauty to Windows 8. Windows 8 Consumer Preview should run on the same hardware that powers Windows 7 today.
However, there are some additional requirements to take into consideration in order to use certain features in Windows 8. In order to use the Snap feature, you will need a PC with a 1366×768 resolution or higher. If you want to use touch, you’ll need a multitouch -capable laptop, tablet, or display. Windows 8 supports up to five simultaneous touch points, so if your hardware doesn’t, you may find typing on the onscreen keyboard and using certain controls more of a challenge. You’ll also need an Internet connection to try out the Windows Store, to download and install apps, and to take your settings and files with you from one Windows 8 PC to another. Detailed description on system requirement can be found here.
The Windows 8 consumer Preview is available in ISO format for download, so don’t you give it a try. In the end, the Consumer Preview is a major milestone for Windows 8, but, there’s a lot more to the Consumer Preview than its user interface — for one thing, it finally supports Hyper-V, and a new way of exploring folder history makes it easier to recover accidentally deleted files. The Windows Store will provide the best look at Windows 8 and its app offerings and will be the key component to Microsoft’s success or failure with its “Windows reimagined” approach. Overall Windows 8 Consumer Preview feels like a much more finished product that its Developer Preview equivalent.