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Windows 8 was released on October 26, 2012 and is now available to the general public. It was said to have over 300 features that Windows 7 did not. Here are some features that you may want to know about if you are considering upgrading to Windows 8.
Note: items that are italicized are from the official website of Microsoft.
Windows 8 starts up faster, switches between apps faster, and uses power more efficiently than Windows 7
If you want to get more things done at once, consider adding another monitor. Chat with friends on one monitor while you work on the other. And some apps, like coding and video editing apps, are faster to work with when they’re spread across two or more monitors.
You can install updates when you are not using your computer, or at any other time you tell it to. No more interruptions from Windows Update.
Windows 8 supports 3G and 4G, allowing users to connect to the internet from any location. As a bonus, it is built-in.
Windows Defender and Windows SmartScreen are built into Windows 8 and Windows RT and help guard your PC against viruses, spyware, and other malicious software in real time. Windows Defender uses green, yellow, and red color codes to show your PC’s security status.
The new Task Manager makes it easy to see which apps and services are using the resources on your PC. And if you want to look at all the gritty details of what your network connections and hardware are up to, or control the apps that run at startup, it’s all easy to find and control. To open Task Manager, open the Search charm, enter Task Manager, and then tap or click Task Manager. If you’re using a mouse, you can right-click the lower-left corner of your screen and select it from the menu of advanced commands.
With Windows 8 and Windows RT, you can use the keyboard shortcuts you’re already using, and you’ll find new ones too. For example, the easiest way to search on the Start screen is to simply start typing. Not on the Start screen? Press the Windowslogo key and you can quickly switch between Start and the app you’re in.
Recovering your system is made easier with Windows 8. Now you only have two options: Refresh and Reset. Refreshing keeps your current settings, files, and apps. Reset is a full purge of your system that restores it without reinstalling.
For a new, customized spin on a regular password, try a picture password instead. With a picture password, you can choose any picture you want and draw shapes on it to sign in, so your password is as unique as the picture is. To start using this type of password, open the Settings charm, tap or click Change PC settings, and then tap or click Users.
Whether you want to connect to a different wireless network or are just in the mood to tinker with a new app, the Settings charm is your first stop for all things settings–related. You’ll find settings for the app you’re in, plus a few frequent PC settings—network connection, volume, brightness, notifications, power, and language. The PC settings are the same, no matter where you are in Windows, but the app settings are different in every app.
With the Calendar app, you can stay organized and in control of your busy schedule. See your work and personal calendars all at the same time, all in one place—just connect all your accounts, and all your events will automatically appear.
The Mail app has a few new tricks to help you stay on top of your email throughout the day.